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Arizona Diamondbacks Review #27: Tim Locastro

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Tim Locastro joins a long list of Snakepit favorites that were freed in all the wrong ways.

A look from behind as Tim Locastro finishes a home run swing, from a game in 2020 Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Rating: 4.11
  • Age: 29
  • 2021 Stats: .180/.263/.252, 41 OPS+, 9 HBP.
  • 2021 Earnings: Pre-arb
  • 2022 Status: Non-tendered by the Red Sox, in limbo until there is a CBA

Tim Locastro was coming off a very strong 2020, which is something very few people in the world could actually say. He hit .290 and got on base at a .395 clip, which was good enough to get him an OPS+ of 133. This, combined with his tendency to successfully steal bases as well as for getting hit by pitches, turned him into a fan favorite. Many of these fans, myself included, felt that given his strong performance in the pandemic shortened season and the general lack of other options that he should be the starting center fielder for the Diamondbacks this year.

The team didn’t necessarily agree, again choosing to give most of the innings at that position to Ketel Marte, much to the chagrin of many of the above mentioned fans, myself included. However, in the playing time he did get, he gave them very few reasons to regret their decision. He played 55 games for the team in the first half of the season, most of which were in center field, along with 19 pinch hit apperances. In those games, he managed an OPS+ of only 36, 100 being league average. Only seven hitters had an OPS+ worse than that for the Diamondbacks. None of them had even half of his plate apperances.

Given that, it isn’t really a hard case to make that he was the worst hitter on the team this season, but even a season that bad isn’t without highlights. For despite how bad his season was, one achievement of his will forever be enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame. To start his career, he had been impossible to get out on the basepaths, being successful in every attempt through the 2020 season, as well as the start of the 2021 season. On April 17th, his success was rewarded, and he broke the record previously held by Tim Raines for most consecutive successful stolen bases to start his career at 29. The Hall of Fame recognized the achievement, and the next time you go to Cooperstown there will be a display devoted to Tim Locastro.

In July, Locastro’s time with Arizona came to an end, as the organization traded him to the Yankees for a AA pitcher who has had mixed results since joining the D-backs minor league system. He was quoted as saying that he was excited that his family, who is in New York, wouldn’t have to stay up until 1am to watch him play, however, he wasn’t able to enjoy that benefit for long. On his ninth game with the Yankees, he ended up tearing his ACL, ending his season abruptly and putting some serious question marks on his future in the league.

2022 Outlook

Not great, to be totally honest. After his injury, the Red Sox did pick him up off waivers from the Yankees, but non-tendered him at the deadline a couple weeks ago. ACL injuries are tricky, especially for players that rely on speed as heavily as Locastro does. If he can come back healthy, and he can get on base more like 2020, then he’ll find a spot in the league. Those are a lot of ifs, though, and it’s going to be difficult for him to get opportunities to prove that both of them are true.