Palm Beach 2009 Starting Pitcher of the Year

Though the youngest player on his team, Richard Castillo did not let his age affect a performance that led him to capture the title of the Palm Beach Starting Pitcher of the Year. The 20-year-old discusses his 2009 season.

Pitching as a 20-year-old in the most advanced level of Class-A level is a tough assignment. Factor in that he did it while losing seven more games than he won would test any pitchers moxie. But not only did the Palm Beach Cardinals' Richard Castillo do it, but he did it so well he is our Palm Beach 2009 Starter of the Year.

Castillo led the Cardinals in ERA, strikeouts, starts, and innings pitched. His start total was the fourth best total in the Florida State League and he finished seventh in innings.

On the season, the native Venezuelan finished with a 6-13 record and a 3.87 ERA. He made 26 starts, finishing one of them for the team's only complete game of the season. In his 148.2 innings, he struck out 105 while walking 66.

I had a chance recently to talk to Castillo about his successful 2009 campaign.

Dustin Mattison: First off, congratulations on being named the Palm Beach Starter of the Year.

Richard Castillo: I really feel very happy and I thank God for everything.

DM: How does your arm feel after throwing that many innings?

RC: Just as I was the Palm Beach pitcher, my desire is to be the best major league pitcher that I can be. I am very happy because I was able to further my development with a lot of innings. At the end I was a little tired but I was always ready.

DM: Was it disappointing at times to know that you were pitching well even though your record did not show it?

RC: I did not win many games but I was happy because I was getting the work.

DM: What are your plans for this off-season?

RC: This winter I want to work hard to improve my mechanics and get more prepared for next year. Also, I want to work on the sprinting to first on the double play.

DM: What are your goals for the 2010 season?

RC: My goal for 2010 is to work hard and hopefully next year or the following I will make it to the majors.

DM: What is something Cardinal fans should know about you that they probably don't know?

RC: Well, fans should know that first in my life is God. Also, I like to set goals and achieve them and by the grace of God my goal is to reach the big leagues and be the best that I can be.

I thank Richard for his time and congratulate him again for being named the Palm Beach 2009 Starting Pitcher of the Year.

Honorable Mention

Nick Additon made 15 starts for Palm Beach before being promoted to Springfield. The southpaw posted a 3.06 ERA while striking out 66 in 79.1 innings. Additon did struggle with his command, walking 37 during this time.

In his first full professional season, Scott Gorgen made 13 Florida State League starts before being promoted to Double-A. The 22-year-old made it tough on his opponents, holding them to a 2.92 ERA and allowing only a .192 average against. In 74 innings, he struck out 73 while giving out 32 walks.

David Kopp continued his struggle to remain healthy but showed flashes of what he could be if his health is right. The right-hander made 13 starts for the Cardinals while posting a 3.11 ERA.

Note: To follow our entire series of Players of the Year at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system, check back here at The Cardinal Nation daily. To see the roster of winners and article schedule, click here.

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