2008 ranking: Not ranked
School: Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Became a Cardinal: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on February 13, 2007.
Selected 2008 stats
Staff comments (individual rankings in parens)
Dustin Mattison (23): One of the biggest breakout performers of 2008, Castillo put up impressive numbers in two stops in full-season ball. Starting the year as a fill in at Palm Beach, he took full advantage of the situation by posting a 1.13 ERA in 16 innings. Intrigued, the Cardinals sent Castillo to the Quad Cities so he could see more action. Up to the challenge, the 18-year-old notched eight wins to go along with a 2.62 ERA.
Admittedly, Castillo's breakout season is something to get excited about. But with a 5'11 frame and a fastball that sits only in the high eighties, I am going to have to see more. The word is that his curveball is a plus offering, Chuckie Fick described as "wicked" but I am going to have to see how he advances as he climbs the ladder to get really excited.
Ray Mileur (11): The kid with ‘the golden arm', Castillo didn't turn 19 until 10/11/08, but he didn't let that get in his way, going 8-4 with a 2.62 ERA, in 13 starts for the Quad Cities River Bandits. Richard held opposing batters to a .227 batting average. Castillo got a taste of playing for the Class-A advanced, Palm Peach Cardinals, appearing in six games, including two starts, posting a record of 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA, while holding opposing hitters at that level to just a .222 batting average. The Cardinals moved him back to Quad Cities only because there was just wasn't room for him at Palm Beach. He should be able to start the season in the Palm Beach rotation.
Message board community (13): Castillo should start next year back at Palm Beach and will be at the same level and age as vaunted prospect Rick Porcello was this year. It will be interesting to see if Castillo can put up numbers similar to this year that will draw him in direct comparison with Porcello and if so it will be interesting to see if he starts getting some respect and recognition on the national level and even by Cardinal prospect watchers who aren't as knowledgeable as those at the Birdhouse. - CariocaCardinal
Brian Walton (19): This winter in the Venezuelan Winter League, Castillo pitched well in limited duty. He has appeared in four games for the Cardenales de Lara, allowing eight hits in 10 1/3 innings, five walks and five strikeouts. Just two earned runs crossed the plate for a 1.74 ERA.
Cardinals farm director Jeff Luhnow looked back on Castillo's 2008 season. "We moved him back to Quad Cities. He didn't need to move back. The only reason we moved him back was because we had too many pitchers.
"Castillo is another kid with off the charts make up. Under the radar. But now his numbers are where he can no longer stay under the radar because people are noticing what he is doing. This kid is going to be in our rotation somewhere in A ball.
"I think given his age, you look at him, guys like (Batavia's Frederick) Parejo, the youngest guys in their league and both had tremendous years. The Venezuelan crop is doing pretty well… Castillo is an exciting player," Luhnow said.
To see our entire list of 40 prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
Want access to the all details behind our Cardinals prospect news, the most comprehensive anywhere, from stlcardinals.scout.com?
Subscribe to our annual Total Access Pass(tm) and also receive the 2009 Scout Prospect Guide, the perfect hardcopy, glossy companion our online coverage, including the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations, fantasy baseball previews and more!
© 2009 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.