Can Starlin Castro develop into the kind of hitter that even begins to approximate the ``selective aggressiveness'' that the Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer front office wants to make and organizational hallmark the way they did in Boston?

That's at least debatable. But Epstein said he believes that the increasing power he anticipates from Castro will indirectly push that process in the coming years.

Meanwhile, the most important indicator might be Castro himself. The 22-year-old shortstop with the innate ability to hit almost any pitch almost anywhere his bat can reach says he's confident he can be a much better, more selective hitter than he is.

``I can be better than I am right now, with a little more experience, a little more patience at the plate,'' he said, recognizing the shortcoming before it could specifically be raised. ``When I [improve at] not swinging at bad pitches.''

Castro has only six walks in 298 plate appearances. That's just .02 BB/PA - worst in the majors for qualifying hitters. And only six National League qualifiers see fewer pitches (3.51 per PA).