While his talent has never been questioned, Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, "probably really focused 80 to 85 percent of the time," this year, manager Dale Sveum told reporters in Nashville, Tenn., during baseball's winter meetings.
Castro, 22, was effectively tabbed as the franchise's cornerstone player when he was given a seven-year, $60 million contract extension in August, but questions about his work ethic and focus on the field have always shrouded the perception of his obvious talent.
Sveum thinks that Castro could make major strides if he could simply become a more focused player on the field.
"Basically what I want to see out of him is just keep progressing mentally and understand the process of becoming a winning player and not a hit seeker, becoming more of a winning hitter situation, drive runs in, understanding the situations," Sveum said.
Last year, Castro made notable improvements to his defensive game for stretches during the season, but he also failed to improve as a hitter and had the same occasional lapses in focus that have plagued him throughout his young career. With the Cubs looking to get back into contention over the next few years, he'll need to weed those issues out and lead the way.