Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 4/13/1995 (2014 Opening Day Age: 18)
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2011
Ranking History: #195 (2012), #45 (2013), #30 (2014)
Background: Priority signing at the outset of the 2011 international signing period, Castro debuted with the 2012 VSL Tigers by posting a 3.38 ERA in 13 starts. He returned to the VSL as an 18-year old in 2013 and improved across the board, including a 2.73 ERA and better strikeout rate.
|2013 Stats - Pitching|
Body: Lean, very thin body; plus athlete; long limbs; has added some height beyond listed height from when he signed; weight has ticked up slightly as well; doesn't project to be a physical specimen, but should have a very good, strong body; athleticism will carry him; great pitcher's frame.
Delivery/Mechanics: Athleticism translates to delivery; still raw and at times inconsistent; has makings of clean delivery with lightning quick arm; classic ¾ arm slot; doesn't show the ball very well through delivery; lands cleanly and power through delivery; good extension out front; has control/command projection with delivery as consistency is gained.
Fastball: Sits 92-93 during outings; holds velo well; velo consistent in stretch which was a step forward in 2013; will find 94-95 mph at times; some reports of 7s from scouts last summer but those were rare; movement is inconsistent but typically shows good life at the plate; comes out of hand easy; ridiculous arm speed; average velo projects to rise with consistency and physical maturity; potential to sit 94-96 and touch 98-99 down the line; huge projection; potential monster pitch with well above-average potential; not out of the realm of becoming an elite offering. Grade – Present 5+/Future 7
Curveball: Can spin it; shows surprising feel for getting on top of the pitch and maintaining consistent bite; tight rotation; throws it hard in upper-70s to low-80s; hard downer curve; true power pitcher's breaking ball; potential plus (at least) offering down the line; earned frequent average grades last summer; not there with pitch yet in my mind but close. Grade – 4+/6
Changeup: Definite third pitch; feel is still developing; often slows arm and even when he doesn't he overthrows the pitch; needs to trust grip and maintain arm speed; at best shows good sink with potential to induce weak contact; well below-average at present; not confident in average projection at this time but he could jump that level 3-5 years down the line. Grade – 3/4+
Control/Command: Improved strike throwing in 2013; still more thrower than pitcher; has ability to keep the ball in and around the strike zone; needs to refine ability to move FB around; good arm action, improving delivery and athleticism lend to control projection; command could follow; potential for average command of power FB-CB combo.
Other: No significant red flags with makeup or injury projection; still raw on the diamond; has to learn place as defender; still developing ability to hold runners; overall game needs consistency.
Summary: Classic raw Latin American arm; potential for huge FB; CB could provide second plus offering; athletic with good body; electric potential; development of CH will determine future role; control should come and command can follow given delivery/athleticism; high-ceiling prospect with wide range of outcomes remaining.
Risk: Extreme risk; no stateside resume; lots of development remaining including multiple grade jumps on multiple tools; all projection.
Projection: Potential for high-octane FB-CB combo with lack of third pitch immediately elicits bullpen calling; long developmental path ahead that could allow him to stick as SP; should make stateside debut in GCL in 2014; 3-4 years away from upper minors, let alone MLB.
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