Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Castillo was signed later than many young international players, signing as a 20-year old in June 2010. The Tigers had worked Castillo out on multiple occasions and finally came to an agreement with him in time for him to help the Dominican Summer League club throughout the summer.
In seven games for the club, Castillo posted a 1.0 record and 1.93 ERA in 23 1/3 innings. He started two games and pitched the other five in relief. Overall, Castillo allowed just 13 hits and five walks while striking out a whopping 38 hitters.
The Tigers quickly brought the now 21-year old Castillo stateside for the 2011 season and he has again pitched well for the GCL club while seeing his raw stuff improve throughout the summer.
Signed in February 2009 as an 18-year old, De La Rosa was one of the Tigers sleeper signings from that year's international class. With a highly projectable frame, the Tigers saw plenty of promise in the teenaged Dominican.
Castillo is on the small side by present day pitching standards, standing in at a generous 5-foot-10. He has a stocky build with strength that he uses to generate plus arm speed.
After working in the 86-89 mph range in the DSL in 2010, Castillo has gained strength this summer and more consistently works in the 88-91 range at this time. He has reached as high as 94 mph this summer but that velocity is not sustainable for him.
Signed with both a curveball and a change-up, Castillo is primarily a fastball-curveball reliever at this point. His curveball flashes at least average and one scout thought it might be a solid-average pitch down the line. Castillo's change-up never projected as a viable third pitch against more advanced hitters, and the pitch has virtually been scrapped at this point.
Castillo is far more a thrower than a pitcher. He doesn't locate well within the strike zone and while his command has improved throughout the 2011 season, he is still well below-average. As he tightens up his mechanics and gains experience, Castillo could have average control but will likely always lack refined command.
As a two-pitch guy with iffy command projection, Castillo is destined to remain in a relief role. Most scouts see a ceiling that ends somewhere around a middle relief role or possibly a left-handed specialist.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG R
In just over a year of professional baseball, Castillo has been healthy and pitching regularly.
Castillo has been a solid pitcher in the GCL this season and he will require a must stiffer test next year to truly gauge his viability as a prospect. He should enter spring training with a chance to land in the West Michigan bullpen or fall back to the Connecticut bullpen after some time in extended spring training.
Starting next year as a 22-year old, Castillo has a brief window to perform well and advance in the system. With little margin for error, any hiccups in his development as a reliever and he could be left behind and become a low level organizational arm that fills out an A-ball bullpen for a year or two.
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