Nick Castellanos is the personification of an all-or-nothing type of hitter, as he is wildly unpredictable in his at-bats throughout a season. After an underwhelming first year with the Phillies in 2022, the right fielder appeared to turn a corner with two solid months out of the first three in 2023.
In April, he had a .308/.368/.505 line with 17 RBI in 107 at-bats. Castellanos' most productive month batting was in June. He had a .351/.387/.567 stat line and 21 RBI in his 97 plate appearances. His solid first half of 2023 culminated in an All-Star Game appearance.
He had a difficult month at the plate in July with a .162/.194/.303 line and 35 strikeouts. He had 11 RBI, the lowest he tallied during a single month — Castellanos finished with the same amount in May of 2022. During the season, Thomson placed him anywhere from second to eighth in the batting order.
Castellanos rode a rollercoaster in the postseason
Castellanos' hitting during the playoffs was a further glimpse of how well and poorly he can perform as a batter. In 13 contests and 47 at-bats, the 31-year-old finished with a slash line of .213/.269/.574 and 14 strikeouts.
During the Divisional series against the Atlanta Braves, Castellanos was arguably Philadelphia's best hitter. After going 0-for-4 in Game 1, he went 7-for-13 with four home runs, and four RBI in the next three contests of the series. He finished with only one strikeout through the four games against Atlanta.
Against the Diamondbacks in the NLCS, Castellanos suddenly became perhaps the Phillies' biggest weakness at the plate. He had 11 of his postseason strikeouts in the seven contests, including four combined in the last two games of the series. His stat line of .391/.440/1.000 at the start of Game 1 dropped to .213/.269/.574 by the conclusion of Game 7.
The past two seasons are an indication that Phillies fans should brace for unpredictability when it comes to Castellanos' performance at the plate. If he is in the midst of a hot streak at the right time, it could help propel Philadelphia to a championship.
Fans have seen how he can contribute to the team's offensive struggles as well. Examples are at the end of their unbelievable playoff run in the final three games of the 2022 World Series in which he went 0-for-11. During the 2023 NLCS, he went 1-for-24. Castellanos needs to be a lot better at the right time for the Phillies to win their first championship since 2008.