- Full name Miguel Angel Castro
- Born 12/24/1994 in La Romana, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'7" / Wt.: 201 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 04/06/2015
Organization Prospect Rankings
Signed by the Blue Jays for $180,000 in 2012, Castro hadn't pitched at a level higher than high Class A Dunedin entering the 2015 season--and even there he had thrown just nine innings. But a standout performance in spring training--and a thin Blue Jays bullpen--catapulted Castro onto the Opening Day roster as a 20-year-old. Primarily a starter in the minors, he soon found himself closing games for Toronto, earning four saves before understandable growing pains led to a May demotion. Shipped to the Rockies as part of the Troy Tulowitzki trade in July, Castro continued working in relief at Triple-A Albuquerque en route to a September callup. Tall with long limbs and a lean, wiry frame, he routinely pitches at 96 mph and touches 99 with a low three-quarters arm slot that generates plus sink and armside run. His firm 85-87 mph changeup is an above-average pitch and is his most consistent secondary offering. He also throws a sweepy slider in the low 80s that flashes above-average bite. It's unclear whether the Rockies will try moving Castro back into the rotation, but he could impact the big league bullpen in 2016.
In a year when the Blue Jays spent big internationally, Castro signed for $180,000 as a January signee. His 2013 stateside debut was delayed by visa issues, but he dominated the Dominican Summer League and built on that performance this year. Castro is a physical specimen with a large frame, broad shoulders, long extremities and a lean, wiry build. Castro's fastball sat in the low-90s before he signed but now sits in the mid-90s and touches 99 with a loose arm. He has a quick arm and the ball jumps from his hand with extension out front from a long-striding delivery. His low three-quarters arm slot produces plus sinking life, arm-side run and angle that projects to get groundballs at an above-average clip. Castro pitches off of his fastball and his top secondary offering is a changeup with plus potential. His slider is still in its developmental stages and is not consistently average. But his hand speed and arm slot give his sweepy slider a chance to develop. Castro's fastball velocity, life and extension make him tough on righthanded hitters. Castro will likely start the season in a Class A rotation, where the development of his breaking ball will be a focus.
Castro's stateside debut was delayed by visa issues, but he dominated the Dominican Summer League. He struck out more than one-third of the hitters he faced, and had he qualified his ERA (1.36) would have been fourth-best in the league. The 6-foot-5 Castro is a physical specimen with one of the most projectable bodies in the minors, and has the potential to become a front-half-of-the-rotation starter. He has a lean, wiry build, a tapered waist and long limbs. He threw 91-92 mph before signing, and last year sat 93-96 and touched 99. He throws from a low three-quarters arm slot and gets above-average sink. His long stride and long arms give him good extension, and the ball explodes out of his hand. His velocity, sink, angle and release distance should make him tough on righthanded hitters. His arm slot allows him to turn over a changeup with above-average potential, and he has a developing slider with sweepy action and pronounced lateral tilt. Increased weight and strength have helped his body control and strike-throwing ability and will continue to be a priority for his development for the lithe Castro. Castro will probably return to Rookie-level Bluefield to open the season.
Minor League Top Prospects
The Blue Jays hit paydirt with pitcher signings out of the Dominican Republic in back-to-back years with lefty Jairo Labourt and Castro, who signed for $180,000 in January 2012. The pair formed a dominant duo at the top of the Vancouver rotation, with Castro making up for time he lost last year when a visa issue delayed his arrival in the U.S. Castro's strong start and control earned him two in-season promotions, one to low Class A Lansing and anther to high Class A Dunedin, where he finished the year while still a teenager. Tall and projectable, Castro throws consistent strikes with a downward plane to his pitches, allowing him to work down in the zone. His easy delivery belies his consistent mid-90s fastball (which touched 98 mph), giving him natural deception. He relies more on a slurvy breaking ball than he did his changeup, which has flashed potential.