Selected 2009 stats
Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)
Dustin Mattison (26): After placing 23rd on my list last year, Castillo moved down after a solid yet unspectacular season in the Florida State League. Castillo led the Palm Beach in ERA, strikeouts, starts, and innings pitched. His start total was fourth-best in the FSL while he finished seventh in innings. For his efforts, he was named our TCN/Scout.com Palm Beach Starting Pitcher of the Year while performing as a 20-year-old.
With a small frame, 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, and a fastball in the high eighties, the Dominican must rely on his control and a swing-and-miss curveball. At times, that control failed him and he finished the season with a 4.00 BB/9 rate while only striking out a little more than six batters per nine innings. Both rates are concerning due to the fact that he gets fewer than half of his outs on the ground. If he is going to continue to have success, those are two numbers that he will have to improve upon. Also, I would like to see him develop his changeup more as well.
Though there is room for improvement, his age has to be taken into consideration. Castillo more than held his own against the advanced competition of the FSL. Even when the losses were piling up, he showed great maturity and continued to battle.
Message board community (17): Richard Castillo is one of the most difficult Cardinals prospects to judge. He does not appear to have high-level traditional tools or eye popping numbers, but continues to perform well in leagues where he is 2-3 years younger than the league average.
Overall, Castillo's numbers were down slightly from 2009 but there were a lot of positives behind those numbers. Castillo had a high BABIP (.322) in 2009 which indicates he may have suffered from some bad luck. Castillo also increased his ground ball percentage from 36 to 43 which undoubtedly helped reduce his home rate by over 80 percent. This contributed to him reducing his FIP from 4.05 in 2008 to 3.72 in 2009.
The Cards are expected to continue to push Castillo with a 2010 promotion to Double-A Springfield. Given his age, even if he was to struggle, he could easily repeat the league again and still be considered young for the league. - CariocaCardinal
Brian Walton (16): For many, the luster is off Castillo after his 6-13, 3.87 ERA campaign at Palm Beach. The right-hander fanned 105 but walked 66 in 148 2/3 innings, not as flashy as his numbers posted during his breakout 2008 between Quad Cities and Palm Beach.
Still, I remain encouraged by his 2009 accomplishments given they were achieved at the A-Advanced level while still a teenager. At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, Castillo's size is not a positive, and his 89-90 MPH fastball isn't a differentiator. They don't have to be negatives, either, if he can show continued improvement in his best pitch, his curve, as well as his changeup.
Our 2010 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
There's more! Want access to the all details behind our Cardinals prospect rankings in our "Forty Days, Forty Nights, Forty Prospects" feature here at The Cardinal Nation?
Subscribe now to our annual Total Access Pass(tm) and receive in the spring the 2010 FOX Fantasy Guide / Scout Prospect Guide, the perfect hardcopy companion to "Forty Days", including the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.
© 2009 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.