Name: Fabio Castillo
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: February 19, 1989
Upon being hired by the Texas Rangers, international scouting director A.J. Preller's job was to lead a revitalized effort to bring young, talented Latin American players into the Rangers organization. Preller took a step in the right direction when he signed highly-sought-after pitcher Fabio Castillo in 2005.
Just 16-years-old at the time of the signing, Castillo had been heavily pursued by the Yankees, Mets, Braves, and Red Sox. He signed with the Rangers for a bonus in the neighborhood of $250,000.
The native of the Dominican Republic opened eyes nationwide when he attended a talent showcase for Perfect Game USA in 2005. Castillo consistently hit 93 MPH with his fastball and – at 16-years-old – was rated a 10, the highest possible rating for a pro prospect.
Castillo made his Rangers organization debut with the Rookie League Arizona Rangers in 2006. The righty made one start, in which he allowed one hit over three scoreless frames. He walked two and fanned four in the outing. Though it was just one start, the Rangers wanted to give Castillo a taste of baseball in the United States.
The right-hander went on to play with the Rangers' Dominican Summer League club for the rest of the summer, where he put up a 3.46 ERA in 26 innings. Castillo flashed his brilliance in one start, where he allowed one hit in 5.2 innings, walking none and striking out 14.
Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup, Splitter.
Castillo's repertoire is impressive for a college pitcher, let alone an 18-year-old from the Dominican Republic. The righty's best pitch is his fastball, which currently sits in the mid-90's and can reach even higher. Castillo's low-80's changeup needs work, but it should develop into an excellent complement to his hard fastball.
Projection: It would not be a stretch to state that Fabio Castillo projects to have the highest ceiling in the Rangers organization. The young hurler should get stronger as his body develops and he has the potential to possess three above-average Major League pitches. If the Rangers have a starting pitcher with front-line potential, it's Castillo.
2007 Outlook: Castillo is a strong candidate to make himself a household name among Rangers fans in 2007. After impressing club officials at instructionals in Surprise last fall, the right-hander appears poised to make his full-time stateside debut with the Arizona Rangers in 2007.
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