- Full name Leandro Castro
- Born 06/15/1989 in La Romana, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 175 / Bats: R / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
Unlike the high-upside outfielders that fill the Phillies system, Castro doesn't have any loud skills, but he also doesn't have many holes in his game. He has shown consistent hitting ability, though he played just 56 games last year before being shut down in mid-June with a deep bone bruise and a stress fracture in his left leg. Castro generates great bat speed with his explosive hands, but he has a pronounced arm bar in his swing, which gets long at times. He has plus raw power, though he also tries to muscle up fastballs and gives away at-bats. Castro does everything aggressively, almost to a fault, which he'll have to tone down as he advances. He's a solid-average runner with a strong arm, giving him a chance to play all three outfield positions. He can play center field in a pinch but doesn't have enough speed to stick there long term, and he likely won't hit for enough power to play a corner, so he profiles as a second-division regular or fourth outfielder. He'll return to high Class A to being this season, with a chance to advance to Double-A later in the year.
Unlike the other outfielders in the Phillies system, who all seem to be toolsy prospects who offer lots of projectability, Castro has made himself known for one thing: his ability to hit. He collected 46 extra-base hits last year in the South Atlantic League, a tough hitter's environment. He has strong wrists and forearms, which help produce plus bat speed, though he also has a pronounced arm bar in his swing. He has above-average raw power, but he often swings out of his shoes and struggles to recognize offspeed pitches. None of Castro's other tools grades out better than average. He's a decent outfielder, though he fits best in left field because he doesn't get great reads off the bat and his arm is average. He's a plus runner now, though he will probably slow down as he matures physically. Castro is overly aggressive and sometimes wild with everything he does. As he moves up, he'll have to play more under control. Castro will advance to high Class A in 2011, and he'll go as far as his bat takes him.
Castro sticks out among the Phillies' lower-level outfield prospects because his bat is his best tool and his athleticism is merely good. He's advanced enough as a hitter that Philadelphia sent him to low Class A as a teenager to open 2009. After struggling there, he regrouped in extended spring training and went on to lead the New-York Penn League with 81 hits and 31 extra-base hits. Castro doesn't have a pretty swing--he uses a pronounced arm bar--but he squares balls up consistently and has good power. He has strength in his hands and forearms, giving him plus bat speed. An above-average runner now, Castro figures to slow down a bit down the line. He played all three outfield positions last season and projects as an eventual left fielder with an average arm. Unless he develops true plus power, he's more of a second-division regular or a fourth outfielder on a contender. His speed and arm give him an edge in the system over Steve Susdorf, who has a similar bat and has reached Double-A. Castro figures to return to Lakewood in 2010 but could advance to high Class A with a strong spring.
Minor League Top Prospects
The Phillies skipped Castro a level to low Class A Lakewood to open 2009, but he was sent back to extended spring training after batting .152. He regrouped nicely as a 20-year-old at Williamsport, leading the NY-P in hits (81) and extra-base hits (31) while earning plaudits from managers for his all-around game and intensity. "He's high-energy, he can run, he can do a lot of things," Truby said. "For me he's an exciting player, and he's only going to get better. He's got a lot of tools to play with." Castro isn't overly physical but has plus bat speed and could hit for fringe-average power as he matures. He's currently a gap-to-gap hitter with some pull power. He handles the bat well, showing the ability to bunt and to shorten up his swing and go the other way with two strikes. Castro played all three outfield positions for the Crosscutters, and his solid range and average to plus arm equip him to handle all three. He has slightly above-average speed and is very aggressive on the basepaths--perhaps too aggressive, as he was thrown out nine times in 27 steal attempts this summer.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the South Atlantic League in 2010