Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 4/13/1995 (2015 Opening Day Age: 19)
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2011
Ranking History: #195 (2012), #45 (2013), #30 (2014), #24 (2015)
Background:Castro was a high profile signing for the Tigers in 2011 and after spending two years refining his craft in the Venezuelan Summer League by posting a 3.05 ERA across 109-1/3 innings, Castro made his stateside debut in 2014. With a strong showing, Castro cemented himself on the prospect radar and will look to take another step in 2015.
|2014 Stats - Pitching|
Body: Lean, athletic body; slightly bigger than listed height/weight; filling out nicely as he reaches physical maturity; won’t ever look the part of a workhorse but should be durable and strong; athleticism will carry him; good frame to work from.
Delivery/Mechanics: Athletic delivery; still working on repeating mechanics at all times; shows marked improvement over each of the last three seasons; stays in balance well, giving him a chance to easy, fluid and repeatable delivery; lightning quick arm that gives him some deception because ball just explodes out of his hand.
Fastball: Showed 91-93 mph for much of 2014 season; found 94-95 on occasion last year and has touched slightly higher in very short bursts in the past; some reports out of VZ have him as high as 97 on rare occasions; lower velo register is very easy for him; doesn’t even strain to reach 94-95 mph; plenty of velo projection as delivery is ironed out and body continues to mature; potential plus-plus beast with strong movement. Grade – Present 5+/Future 7
Slider: Has shifted from more of a slurvy breaking ball to a true slider since coming stateside; pitch showed tight spin and strong, consistent break throughout summer; near average pitch at present with some scouts believing he could reach plus grades down the line; needs consistency with release point to locate ball better and make it a true swing and miss pitch. Grade – 4+/6
Changeup: Plenty of progress in last 18 months; rapidly improving feel for changeup with good arm speed and same arm slot as FB; arm speed deception is strong; ball shows a little fade and some sink at the plate; good for inducing weak contact at present; still below-average but easier to see path to third average or better pitch at this point. Grade – 4/5
Control/Command: Struggles to throw strikes at times; has long stretches where he moves ball east-west and north-south on command; still struggles enough with delivery/mechanics that the ball can get away from him for stretches as well; command of SL and CH is still developing but should get there; athletic delivery and good aptitude for pitching give him a chance to have a strike-throwing profile with three-pitch mix.
Other: Quiet, hard working kid; has really taken to his craft; beginning to understand nuances of his approach on the mound and how to attack hitters for maximum effect; confident thrower; improving feel.
Summary: Still raw with plenty of room for development; potential huge FB with plus slider to back it up; CH could come along enough to be counted on as third average pitch; quickly learning how to mix pitches and set hitters up; also developing more consistent plan for how to attack hitters and learn from past experiences with batter; potential solid mix headlined by a big FB; lots of potential to remain in rotation but stuff could play up in relief if his developmental path heads that direction in 2-3 years.
Risk: Extreme risk; still only a complex league resume; needs to prove he can log innings; needs grade jumps in all areas.
Projection: One of the highest ceiling arms in the Tigers system; potential as starter drastically improved in 2014 with progress of changeup and continued development of his delivery; lots of developmental progress still required to reach ceiling as a mid-rotation starter; possible full-season debut with West Michigan in 2015; likely 3-4 years away from approaching big league radar.
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