Phillies Prospect #28: Leandro Castro

Leandro Castro was widely regarded as the best position player prospect on the Phillies 2007 DSL team. He made a nice impact in his first season in the states, hitting .298 in the Gulf Coast League.

Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent in 2007.
Bats: R   Throws: R
Height: 5' 11"   Weight: 175 pounds
Birth Date: June 15, 1989
2008 Team(s): Gulf Coast League
Positions/Games: CF (38 G), RF (6 G)
2008 Ranking: Not ranked

Batting and Power: Leandro Castro has a nice, level line-drive type of stroke and doesn't try to do too much. Occasionally, he'll turn on a ball or take advantage of a pitcher's mistake and go deep, but in general, Castro is destined to be much more of a get-on-base type of hitter than he will be to hit home runs. One truly disturbing fact is that Castro walked just four times in 161 at-bats last season in the Gulf Coast League. It was a turnaround from the guy who had average walk numbers in the Dominican Summer League. It's not that he was missing a lot more pitches, but he was simply being more aggressive - too aggressive - at the plate and swinging at bad pitches. It's interesting to note that even though he was so aggressive, his strikeout numbers improved over where he was at in the DSL and he hit .298 in the Gulf Coast League, so the damage wasn't too great.

Category Leandro Castro Gulf Coast League Average
AB/2B 17.89 20.55
AB/3B 161.00 121.22
AB/HR 53.67 80.81
AB/RBI 8.47 8.37
AB/R 6.44 7.18
AB/BB 40.25 10.13
AB/KO 6.44 4.38
AVG .298 .253
OBP .317 .331
SLG .422 .356
Categories with numbers in white show areas where Castro outperferformed the average player in the Gulf Coast League during the 2008 season. Categories with numbers in black show areas where he was below the league average.

Baserunning and Speed: Castro has above-average speed and stole 24 bases in 2007, but dropped to just nine thefts in the GCL last season with a 69% success rate. He can do much better, but will need to learn more of the art of stealing bases in order to take advantage of his speed.

Defense: Because of his speed, Castro can get to a lot of balls that other outfielders wouldn't be able to catch up to. He improved on his defense last season and is developing into one of the better center field prospects in the organization defensively. His arm is a little below average, but his throws are at least accurate, if not strong. Part of that comes from needing more work on his mechanics, so he could become better at throwing out runners in the future.

Projection: Any time that a guy is just 5' 11" and 175 pounds, you have to wonder about how his size will impact him over the long run. Castro turns 20 this summer and still needs to work on some conditioning to keep him ready for full-season leagues down the road, but he appears tough enough to handle the pro ranks. Offensively, he has the potential to develop into a special type of hitter and much of what he can do at the plate will depend on how he can funnel his aggressiveness into a more manageable approach so he can take advantage of walks and use his speed. There is still a lot of rawness in Castro, but the potential is great to watch and he could become a solid prospect as he continues to develop.

Comparison: Skills-wise, Castro could be compared to Doug Glanville, who had about three inches of height on Castro, but weighed about the same during his playing career. Castro has some developing to do in order to fill the shoes for that comparison, but Glanville certainly wasn't fully developed talent-wise when he was Castro's age.

Leandro Castro's career stats

2007 DSL 6 37 .278 59 223 41 62 3 5 24 73% 26 39 .362 .417
2008 GCL 3 19 .298 44 161 25 48 9 1 9 69% 4 25 .317 .422

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