Arismendy Castillo Starting to Attract Notice

Improvement- that's the key when you're looking at minor leaguers to judge their status as prospects. The ones to be noted usually get better. The game they display in August and September is sharper than the one they showed in April. So by that standard you have to pay attention to Arismendy Castillo.

Castillo is a member of the Columbus pitching staff who previously hasn't stood out as anyone special. Oh, he's displayed the requisite good arm but the results haven't been there. Until lately.

He was signed in his native Dominican Republic in January 2003 and made his debut that summer in the league there. He was able to get in only six games before having to be shut down with arm problems. Before that occurred he was 1-3, 5.95. Nothing to get excited about.

An operation cost him all of 2004 but when he returned the next spring, he came over to the U.S. where he showed enough that it was felt that he could handle pitching for Columbus. Turned out he couldn't though for after three games he was 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA so was sent back to the extended camp. From there, he was assigned to the Gulf Coast Dodgers for whom he posted a 3-2, 4.39 record. Improvement for sure but still there were doubts.

This spring he again looked sharp so it was back to Columbus. However, he started slowly so couldn't be used all that much. But then he began to get with it. From June to July he had a stretch where his ERA was 0.49. He pitched 18.2 innings in which he notched 14 strikeouts. He's been pitching middle relief for the most part but was given a start July 1. The result was five shutout innings.

Wednesday night, he was at it again. Called upon in middle relief, he went three innings, giving up a solitary hit and no runs. That brings his record for the season to 6-2, 3.78. He's holding opposing hitters down to a .237 mark.

Clearly a pitcher to be relied upon. He has the requisite heat on his fast ball plus two more developing pitches. He's got the size (6-3, 190) and the strength. He's just 21 and is just starting to become what they hoped he would be.

He hasn't drawn all that much attention yet but if he keeps improving at this rate it won't be long. There's another pitcher in the organization with a similar name- Albenis Castillo- so he's sometimes been confused with him. Lately though, he's becoming known all on his own.

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