London Series 2024 Primer: Right Field

Even the withdrawal of players like Edwin Diaz and Brandon Marsh cannot dent our excitement for the London Series. With the Mets and Phillies heading over the Atlantic in a matter of hours, we continue our look at the players we will see at the London Stadium in Stratford.

Today, we turn our attention to right field, which features two highly celebrated players with more than 10,000 MLB plate appearances between them. That is serious experience coming over to London.


Watching Nick Castellanos in the field reminds me of the dialogue in Moneyball between David Justice and Scott Hatteberg. It seems like Castellanos is much happier when the ball is not hit into right field.

However, with a bat in his hand, the 32-year-old continually inflicts damage on opponents, making the two-time All-Star a fan favourite everywhere he has played.

Drafted by the Tigers, he spent seven years in Detroit, establishing himself as one of the most reliable hitters in the game. His 51-game tenure with the Cubs was the stuff of legend, with 16 home runs and an OPS over 1.000.

A big-money move to Cincinnati further boosted his reputation, although it was a game against the Cardinals that solidified his place in Reds folklore. Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford pointlessly drilled Castellanos, which prompted the outfielder to offer the ball back to him. When Castellanos came around to score on a wild pitch, he roared over the pitcher and walked away. The bases cleared, he was banned for two games, but the images live on forever.

Although he is only hitting .212 AVG this year, Castellanos has played in every single Phillies game this season, and with 217 career home runs to his name, don’t be surprised to see the right fielder launch a homer into the East Stand.

METS RIGHT FIELD: Starling Marte

The 13-year veteran is one of the finest players we have seen over the last couple of decades. Since he debuted in 2012, there is a very small list of players who have reached 150 home runs with 300 stolen bases. In fact, it is only Marte and Jose Altuve.

His bag-swiping acumen is underrated. In this era, before larger bases and limited pick-off attempts, Marte has successfully stolen 348 bases… significantly more than his nearest rivals.

The multiple Gold Glove Award winner spent eight years in Pittsburgh before joining the Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Athletics on his way to signing with the Mets ahead of the 2022 season.

Marte was the oldest hitter on the Mets roster until 36-year-old J.D Martinez joined. Between them, they offer a wealth of experience for the more youthful members of the roster, like Brett Baty and Mark Vientos.

To put baseball and our excitement of the London Series into perspective for a moment, in a chapter of his life of unbearable heartbreak, Marte’s wife, Noelia, died from a heart attack in hospital in 2020 while awaiting surgery for a broken ankle. Truly tragic.

Even the most optimistic Mets fan would admit that 2024 has been a season of immense disappointment, but Marte has been one of the bright spots, slashing .275/.323/.406 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases. Let’s hope we see the power/speed combo in action in London at the weekend.

Featured images by Sarah Stier/Tim Nwachukwu/Thearon W. Henderson/Rich Storry (Getty Images)

Make sure you check out our other London Series primers…

Article by @GavTramps. Look out for the Bat Flips & Nerds crew in London. We have Tom and Darius backstage getting content you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Puppet master John will pull the strings with incisive interviews and bamboozling vocabulary. Russell will bring world-class analysis into the discussion, Rachel (#properjournalist) will provide coverage for nationwide outlets, and Rob, Ben, and the rest of us will be mingling with the crowds in Stratford and Trafalgar Square. Come and say “hi”.

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