RHP Jesus Castillo -- Prospect #38

Seventeenth in a series on the top Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best.

Position- Starting Pitcher
Residence- Tucson, Ariz.
DOB- May 31, 1984
Ht. 6-1
B/T- R/R
05 Club- Columbus (Low A)

Perhaps no player was climbing the charts faster than this one last spring -- that is, until a severe injury derailed his progress.

A Mexican citizen who had come to the US as a student, both in high school and junior college in Arizona., which made him draft eligible. A 27th round choice in 2003, he signed the next spring as a draft-and-follow.

However, by turning professional, he lost his student visa and there were no work visas available. Thus, he had to begin his career in the Dominican Summer League where he was quite impressive (4-1, 1.90).

Brought to spring training this year, he showed three quality pitches and a mound presence that allowed him to skip upward to Columbus. There, he moved into the starting rotation and was doing nicely until his arm woes began.

At first it was thought to be only a muscle strain but it ultimately proved more serious and Tommy John surgery resulted. When he was shut down, he was 1-2, 2.96.

Now, of course, he begins again. If all goes according to plan (and sometimes it doesn't), he should get back into action about June or July.

Then, he'll have to make up the lost time. If he gets back into something like the form he displayed before the injury, he's a strong prospect.

Previous selections:
#39 -- LHP Eric Stults
#40 -- OF Xavier Paul
#41 -- LHP Miguel Sanfler
#42 -- 3B Josh Bell
#43 -- RHP Jordan Pratt
#44 -- OF Sergio Pedroza
#45 -- RHP Julio Pimentel
#46 -- 1b-1B Eduardo Perez
#47 -- RHP James McDonald
#48 -- OF Brian Myrow
#49 -- LHP Danny Muegge
#50 -- RHP Miguel Ramirez
#51 -- OF Ryan Carter
#52 -- RHP Casey Hoorelbeke
#53 -- OF Trayvon Robinson
#54 -- RHP Ramon Troncoso