We told you a week ago that Castillo was going to be a player, when he got his first big league knock. Now he’s hitting around .600 to start his career. We dug up a nice scouting report on him. We love this stuff, we could read it all day. Here goes:
“They kind of want him to be a super-utility player more than just a third baseman,” Sidewinders manager Bill Plummer said a few weeks before the (Adam Dunn) trade.
“Castillo has always been one of the better athletes in our system,” farm director A.J. Hinch confirmed at the time. “Very few players have the ability to play multiple positions in the middle of the field, so we want to see if he is one of them.”
While Castillo has rarely disappointed with the glove, his offensive production has faded this season. The lack of a productive bat to go along with his defensive value made him expendable in the eyes of the organization.
Batting and Power: Castillo does a phenomenal job of putting the bat on the ball, even on bad pitches, using a short, level swing. He batted .330 when leading off an inning last season, but profiles even better as a number two hitter, where he can use the bunt and the hit-and-run to get someone with a high on-base percentage around the bases.
The two biggest weaknesses in Castillo’s game are a lack of power and an inability to draw a walk. If Castillo ever develops something more than doubles power, it won’t occur until he’s in his early thirties like a Darrin Fletcher or an A.J. Pierzynski. The lack of walks are an area that Castillo needs to improve on if he ever wants to start at the major league level.
“He still sometimes gets in trouble when he’s swinging at balls out of the zone, but he’s been more patient,” Plummer said. “He’s put the ball in play harder and more consistently than he did in the first half, from both sides of the plate.”
Base Running and Speed: Castillo runs extremely well for a catcher, but a cursory glance at his caught stealing totals highlights the fact that he doesn’t get good jumps off pitchers. He isn’t too aggressive on the bases or overly cautious, either. Manager Bill Plummer kept him from running too much this year. That bodes well for his future; his slight frame already calls his durability into question, and lots of stolen base attempts only figures to wear him down further.
Defense: Farm director A.J. Hinch told us last summer that Castillo had the best catcher’s arm in the Diamondbacks organization, but he may have since been passed by 17th-round draft choice Ryan Babineau. Wilkin does have a strong arm, but his immaculate footwork and quick release are the primary reasons that he gets the ball to second as quickly as he does.
His other skills as a backstop are solid to above average. Castillo uses good fundamentals when blocking pitches in the dirt, and when one does get away from him, he pounces on it with alacrity. This quickness also helps him field bunts. Castillo’s ability to work with pitchers and call a good game gives the organization confidence to use him in the majors this year.
The really unique aspect to Castillo’s defense is his versatility. He has played every position on the diamond except pitcher. He’s made plenty of errors at these positions, but it’s due to inexperience, not lack of athleticism.
“He can play ’em all,” raved minor league field manager Jack Howell earlier this season. “He definitely doesn’t hurt you, and he can surprise you. He’s a very athletic kid; very mobile and very athletic.”
While Castillo isn’t ever likely to play a major league game at shortstop, the fact that he could do so in an emergency adds to his value as the 13th position player on a major league roster.
Major League Clone: Johnny Estrada
We don’t see this guy as an Estrada at all. Estrada sucks. We also really don’t want to see him as a catcher if at all possible. We’d like to see him at 2B/LF for the next decade like a Bip Roberts type. Hit him 1st or 2nd and let him be a pain in the ass in front of Bruce and Votto. Keep an eye on this kid.