BEST MARLINS PLAYER

Luis Castillo

Castillo, a Dominican who's been on the team since 1996, grabbed national attention last year with a 35-game hitting streak and so many stolen bases that state troopers were looking to send him to Starke. He's risen from a kind of low-confidence junior to a second baseman with remarkably few errors and a batting average that climbed from .240 in 1997 to a .304 average over the last three seasons. He can handle outspeed stuff down the zone but tends to struggle a little with fast balls up. Castillo won his second NL stolen-base crown last year, barely holding off Juan Pierre. This year Luis and Juan are expected to make the most exciting base-stealing pair in baseball, and thus help the injury-prone pitching staff once they make it to first.

Readers Choice: Mike Lowell

 
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