📌 Join the BPCrew Chapter in your city and meet up with more Yankees fans! 👉 CLICK HERE

Starlin Castro hopes to serve as mentor in 2017

When Starlin Castro was coming up with the Chicago Cubs, he had the chance to learn the ropes under the guidance of Alfonso Soriano. The established veteran helped mentor the young rookie on how to handle life as a major leaguer both on and off the field.

Now as a veteran himself, albeit at the age of 26 (he’ll turn 27 on March 24), Castro will try to pay it forward as the youth movement sweeps over the Bronx for 2017.

I just try to help the young guys like Soriano did to me,” Castro said at the Yankees’ Winter Warmup town hall event at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square Tuesday night. “Just try to say the right thing, working hard everyday, come here to do one goal — to help the team win.”

With the subtraction of clubhouse leaders Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, Castro doesn’t feel the need to fill their shoes. Instead, he plans on doing what he’s done so far in his career. Show up, do his job and help out if need be. “I don’t want to take this responsibility to say ‘I’m a leader’. If I have to help one of the young guys, I help,” he said.

In addition to spending some time with top prospects Clint Frazier, James Kaprielian and Chance Adams at the event, Castro also got to see a familiar face in Gleyber Torres again, who he met when the two were both with the Chicago Cubs.

“He’s a really good kid,” Castro said of Torres. “He always listens. If you say something to him, he listens and he does whatever you say.” While Torres doesn’t remind Castro of any current major league player, he noted that Torres’ swing is impressive for such a young kid.

Castro also said he wants to improve on his play from last year. Even though he’s amassed more than 1,100 hits over his seven-year career and made three all-star teams, there’s always room for improvement. “I’m one of those kinds of players that always tries to learn. I’m always working hard. I want to be better every year,” he said.

With players like Torres, Jorge Mateo and Tyler Wade coming up behind him in the system and Didi Gregorius entrenched as the everyday shortstop, there’s been speculation on whether or not the Yankees would move Castro to third base in the future. According to Castro, the organization hasn’t asked about taking reps at a different position in spring training. If they do, Castro says he’ll be prepared.

I’ll do whatever they want. Whatever they want me to do, I just want to help the team and win.”

The Yankees are hoping that a solid mix of veterans and rookies will equal success for 2017. With Starlin Castro willing to help out, the Baby Bombers are in good hands.