Scouting Mets Prospect: RHP Jonathan Castillo

The New York Mets selected the right-hander in the 25th round of the 2004 MLB Draft. Since then, he has moved up one level each season and last season was entrenched as a hybrid pitcher on the pitching-starved Savannah Sandgnats. Without much flash to his game, he uses a steady assortment of tools to work over. Here is a scouting report on Savannah right-hander Jonathan Castillo.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jonathan Castillo
DOB: December 27, 1983
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 195
Throws: Right
Bats: Right

Castillo, 25, has endured a rather quiet career in the Mets farm system, moving up one level for each year in the farm system to little fanfare. He was chosen smack in the middle of the 2004 draft out of the Dominican Republic at 21 years old and was immediately sent to the Gulf Coast League to begin his career.

After an inconsistent first two seasons, he solidified a spot in the 2006 Brooklyn bullpen where he served as a steady choice for his former coaches. In 15 appearances, he posted a 3-2 record with a 4.09 earned run average and set himself up to play an important role in Savannah's bullpen last season.

Castillo got off to a tough start in 2007 as hitters compiled a .294 average against him in 35.2 innings of work through the season's first three months. He entered July with 18 appearances under his belt but with a 5.91 ERA. He was one of many arms in the Savannah bullpen who were battered as the team floundered through the spring.

"All year, I was working on my mechanics trying to improve the way I just go out and pitch," said Castillo. "I worked with the coaches and we noticed that my mechanics were off. Everyday we worked because I struggled a lot through the first half."

His inconsistent mechanics set off a string of ineffectiveness and made his repertoire flounder. He struggled with his ability to spot his fastball and his failure to maintain a consistent arm angle caused his curveball and changeup to flatten out. That allowed hitters to take advantage and just sit on his fastball.

"I wasn't throwing first pitch strikes and didn't develop my curveball as and out pitch. I needed to mix in more secondary pitches because in the first half of the season out of the bullpen I was just using my fastball and curveball. I know I need to add more pitches," he explained.

After a tweak to his mechanics, which included pitching entirely out of the windup even with the bases empty, he streaked to 19.1 consecutive scoreless innings before Savannah manager Tim Teufel decided to slot Castillo into the starting rotation as starters were moved to the bullpen due to innings caps. He made seven starts down the homestretch, surpassing the number of starts he compiled since beginning the 2005 season as a starter in Kingsport.

"The coaches moved guys into the bullpen so that was part of why I got to start, but I was a starter a couple seasons ago [with Kingsport], so I have a taste of it. I've been doing the best I can with my game and step up in the rotation when I've been needed and work hard," detailed Castillo.

There is a large collection of starters who will compete for spots at the High-A level coming into next season, so the challenge to make it into a starter's role will be a tough one for Castillo to overcome. Nonetheless, if he continue the improvements in his repertoire and mechanics that he demonstrated in the second half of last season, he will still get his shot at playing a significant role in the bullpen

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

St. Lucie

0-1

0

3.1

4

5

22

8.10

2007

Savannah

5-5

0

88.1

88

36

49

4.18

2006

Brooklyn

3-2

1

33.0

37

16

28

4.09

2005

St. Lucie

0-1

0

2.2

3

4

0

20.25

2005

Hagerstown

1-0

0

7.0

4

3

4

2.57

2005

Kingsport

2-3

0

53.0

42

16

41

2.04

2004

GCL

2-2

1

39.2

51

12

24

5.67



Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: The importance of Castillo's fastball cannot be understated for the general success of his game. His uses his high-80s fastball to set up his secondary pitches so it is significant that he locate the pitch to hitters on both sides of the plate. His fastball gets decent natural movement but his ability to spot the pitch in the bottom half of the zone is the key to opening the rest of his game.

Other Pitches: Castillo uses a good, tailing mid-70s curveball to alter a hitter's eye level and keep them from sitting on his fastball. The problem with his curveball is that when his mechanics are flawed, the pitch flattens dramatically and will spin over the plate like a fastball on a tee. However, when his arm angle is right he can snap a good fastball that can move through the bottom half of the zone. He needs to strengthen the consistency of his changeup to make it a viable third option which he can rely on. He gets good movement on the pitch, but like his curveball, its success relies on his arm angle.

Pitching: Castillo does not have the depth in his repertoire to try and fool hitters or be creative on the mound. He has to trust his fastball and get the proper mechanics to be effective over a long period of time rather than piecing together inconsistent outings. He needs his pitches to be at maximum effectiveness in order to keep both his opponent's batting average and walk totals down. When is curveball and changeup at their best he can be a quality groundball pitcher out of the bullpen.

Projection: Although Castillo saw time as a starter in last season's final two months, his career will be spent coming out of the bullpen in middle innings. He stamina will give coaches the option of using him for two-plus innings at a time or even as a spot starter on occasion, but he looks like a sixth or seventh inning pitcher.

ETA: 2010. Castillo spent all of last season in Savannah save a final September appearance in St. Lucie. Coming into a very important fifth season in the organization, Castillo will be a serious position to prove his future value in the system and should get the chance to do so from the St. Lucie bullpen.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Jonathan Castillo
\r\nDOB: December 27, 1983
\r\nHeight: 5'11\"
\r\nWeight: 195
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\nBats: Right
\r\n
\r\nCastillo, 25, has endured a rather quiet career in the Mets farm system, moving up one level for each year in the farm system to little fanfare. He was chosen smack in the middle of the 2004 draft out of the Dominican Republic at 21 years old and was immediately sent to the Gulf Coast League to begin his career.
\r\n
\r\nAfter an inconsistent first two seasons, he solidified a spot in the 2006 Brooklyn bullpen where he served as a steady choice for his former coaches. In 15 appearances, he posted a 3-2 record with a 4.09 earned run average and set himself up to play an important role in Savannah's bullpen last season.
\r\n
\r\nCastillo got off to a tough start in 2007 as hitters compiled a .294 average against him in 35.2 innings of work through the season's first three months. He entered July with 18 appearances under his belt but with a 5.91 ERA. He was one of many arms in the Savannah bullpen who were battered as the team floundered through the spring.
\r\n
\r\n\"All year, I was working on my mechanics trying to improve the way I just go out and pitch,\" said Castillo. \"I worked with the coaches and we noticed that my mechanics were off. Everyday we worked because I struggled a lot through the first half.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis inconsistent mechanics set off a string of ineffectiveness and made his repertoire flounder. He struggled with his ability to spot his fastball and his failure to maintain a consistent arm angle caused his curveball and changeup to flatten out. That allowed hitters to take advantage and just sit on his fastball.
\r\n
\r\n\"I wasn't throwing first pitch strikes and didn't develop my curveball as and out pitch. I needed to mix in more secondary pitches because in the first half of the season out of the bullpen I was just using my fastball and curveball. I know I need to add more pitches,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nAfter a tweak to his mechanics, which included pitching entirely out of the windup even with the bases empty, he streaked to 19.1 consecutive scoreless innings before Savannah manager Tim Teufel decided to slot Castillo into the starting rotation as starters were moved to the bullpen due to innings caps. He made seven starts down the homestretch, surpassing the number of starts he compiled since beginning the 2005 season as a starter in Kingsport.
\r\n
\r\n\"The coaches moved guys into the bullpen so that was part of why I got to start, but I was a starter a couple seasons ago [with Kingsport], so I have a taste of it. I've been doing the best I can with my game and step up in the rotation when I've been needed and work hard,\" detailed Castillo.
\r\n
\r\nThere is a large collection of starters who will compete for spots at the High-A level coming into next season, so the challenge to make it into a starter's role will be a tough one for Castillo to overcome. Nonetheless, if he continue the improvements in his repertoire and mechanics that he demonstrated in the second half of last season, he will still get his shot at playing a significant role in the bullpen
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n 0-1

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 3.1

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 5

\r\n

\r\n 22

\r\n

\r\n 8.10

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n Savannah

\r\n

\r\n 5-5

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 88.1

\r\n

\r\n 88

\r\n

\r\n 36

\r\n

\r\n 49

\r\n

\r\n 4.18

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n 3-2

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 33.0

\r\n

\r\n 37

\r\n

\r\n 16

\r\n

\r\n 28

\r\n

\r\n 4.09

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n 0-1

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 2.2

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 20.25

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n Hagerstown

\r\n

\r\n 1-0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 7.0

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 4

\r\n

\r\n 2.57

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n Kingsport

\r\n

\r\n 2-3

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 53.0

\r\n

\r\n 42

\r\n

\r\n 16

\r\n

\r\n 41

\r\n

\r\n 2.04

\r\n

\r\n 2004

\r\n

\r\n GCL

\r\n

\r\n 2-2

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 39.2

\r\n

\r\n 51

\r\n

\r\n 12

\r\n

\r\n 24

\r\n

\r\n 5.67


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup
\r\n
\r\nFastball: The importance of Castillo's fastball cannot be understated for the general success of his game. His uses his high-80s fastball to set up his secondary pitches so it is significant that he locate the pitch to hitters on both sides of the plate. His fastball gets decent natural movement but his ability to spot the pitch in the bottom half of the zone is the key to opening the rest of his game.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches: Castillo uses a good, tailing mid-70s curveball to alter a hitter's eye level and keep them from sitting on his fastball. The problem with his curveball is that when his mechanics are flawed, the pitch flattens dramatically and will spin over the plate like a fastball on a tee. However, when his arm angle is right he can snap a good fastball that can move through the bottom half of the zone. He needs to strengthen the consistency of his changeup to make it a viable third option which he can rely on. He gets good movement on the pitch, but like his curveball, its success relies on his arm angle.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: Castillo does not have the depth in his repertoire to try and fool hitters or be creative on the mound. He has to trust his fastball and get the proper mechanics to be effective over a long period of time rather than piecing together inconsistent outings. He needs his pitches to be at maximum effectiveness in order to keep both his opponent's batting average and walk totals down. When is curveball and changeup at their best he can be a quality groundball pitcher out of the bullpen.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: Although Castillo saw time as a starter in last season's final two months, his career will be spent coming out of the bullpen in middle innings. He stamina will give coaches the option of using him for two-plus innings at a time or even as a spot starter on occasion, but he looks like a sixth or seventh inning pitcher.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2010. Castillo spent all of last season in Savannah save a final September appearance in St. Lucie. Coming into a very important fifth season in the organization, Castillo will be a serious position to prove his future value in the system and should get the chance to do so from the St. Lucie bullpen.
\r\n
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