Feb 25, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; A detail of a Toronto Blue Jays hat on the field before a spring training split squad game against the Boston Red Sox at Florida Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects: #23 Miguel Castro

Name Miguel Castro

Position Starting Pitcher

Date of Birth December 24, 1994 (19)

Acquired International free agent out of the Dominican Republic on January 5, 2012; $180,000 signing bonus

Height/Weight 6’5″/190 lbs

Bats/Throws Right/Right

Awards

2013 R. Howard Webster Award for MVP of the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays

Stats

Analysis

Miguel Castro not only earned the Webster Award from the Blue Jays as the MVP of the Blue Jays team in the Dominican Summer League, but he made the jump to the Gulf Coast League and again to the Appalachian League before the 2013 came to an end.

After signing early in 2012 with the Blue Jays, Castro made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2012, and posted some solid numbers as a 17 year old. With some more maturity, Castro was lights out in the 2013 DSL, striking out 71 in 53 innings before jumping to North America for five appearances.

Again, Castro showed his vastly improved control in the Gulf Coast League, walking only two batters in 15 innings while striking out 14. After moving up to Bluefield, he made one regular season appearance but also added another in the playoffs (not shown in the stats above) in which he threw three shutout innings against the Pulaski Mariners, giving up just two hits and a walk and striking out two in what was the Bluefield Blue Jays’ final game of the season.

What can I tell you about Castro? Unfortunately, there’s not much info available on the tall, young righty. Chris King has told me that he’s been reported to have thrown in the low-90s, hitting 95 mph on occasion, which gives his large frame some tantalizing projectability. I haven’t been able to find much about about his secondary pitches and we’re probably not going to have a lot more information on him until Spring Training.

2014 Outlook, Risk, ETA

I’m quite torn on what I think is going to happen with Castro in 2014. He’s probably going to start in Extended Spring Training and head to Bluefield to start the year in June, but I have a hunch that the Jays might think that he can handle a full-season schedule already. He threw 73 innings last year (including his three playoff innings in Bluefield) and could fairly easily step up to 90 or so that he’d get in a full-season league.

So the big question is whether the Blue Jays are going to want to be so aggressive with a 19 year old. By the reports I’ve heard, he’s very mature and is able to pitch above his years and he could join what is expected to be an excellent young pitching staff in Lansing that is also expected to feature Latin American guys like Alberto Tirado and Jairo Labourt.

As for his risk, there isn’t a heck of a lot. So far (knock on wood), Castro has been healthy and, having signed for only $180,000, the Jays figure that if they can get his arm to the majors it’s a huge win for the international scouting staff. With an arm that can touch 95 at 18 years old and developing secondary pitches and good control that allowed him to be effective in two low-level North American Rookie leagues, there’s a good chance that Castro ends up at least in a bullpen. It’s far too early to say anything more. If he does get to The Show, you could probably expect to see him around the end of 2016 or into 2017.

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Tags: 2014 Top Prospects Miguel Castro Toronto Blue Jays

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