In Tuesday’s appearance Miguel Castro showed off why he is in the conversation to make the Blue Jays Opening Day roster. Coming into the game in relief to throw 2.2 innings and striking out 2 was fun to watch. His performance thus far has shown why he is the talk of the spring of late. So far the 20 year old has pitched 6.2 innings total only surrendering 2 hits and has yet to walk a batter. His ability to pound the strike zone and smooth delivery looks to be a great foundation for him to succeed. Lets take a look into the make up of this young talent.
Toronto Blue Jays
Weighing in at 190 lbs and standing at 6’5″ the lanky but imposing figure of Castro leans in to get a sign from the catcher. Getting the good old number 1 signal Castro loads up and fires the ball into the mitt of the catcher to the tune of 99 MPH. The next pitch he pulls the string for a change up that dives toward the ground around 90 MPH. The batter swings out of his shoes anticipating a fastball. Now that Castro has you right where he wants you he snaps off a slider that starts in the middle of the plate and then just disappears. This is the kind of stuff Castro showed in last nights game. His pitches looked flat out nasty against solid Yankee hitters. After watching him pitch last night I honestly think he can contribute at the Major League level soon.
Watching Castro’s motion is why I think he looks ready to be a Major League pitcher. As he gathers his momentum and moves toward his release there are no hitches. There is just one fluid movement from his first step to the release of the ball. As he takes his first step you see him slowly bring his left leg up which allows him to gather his body weight nicely over his back leg. While this is happening there is very little movement in his upper body. He drops his hands from the set position down to his belt line. Like a timing mechanism he then comes back up from the belt and his arm rears back. Once he gets there the raised leg has gathered all that momentum and is hurled toward the plate with his wipe like arm following. This smooth delivery is shown in the below video.
Through his Minor League career Castro has been dominate. Throughout his first 2 years he has been on multiple teams and has produced at a high level. The only noticeable blemish I can really point out is the 3.74 ERA with Lansing last season. The Lansing stint was only 4 starts which is a rather small sample size for me to be worried. The best sample out of the above stats is his time with the Vancouver Canadians where he started 15 games. In those starts he had an ERA of 2.15 with only 20 walks and 53 strikeouts. That is over 50 innings of work which may be comparable to how his time is spent out of the Jays bullpen this season if he continues to impress.
The fact that he has this repeatable delivery will translate to success for Castro. Some pitchers have to many moving parts in their motion which lead to all sorts of issues. Castro is following a simple play gather your momentum and explode toward the strike zone. He almost looks to relaxed moving through his motion. It is very surprising to see that kind of composure from a 20 year old on the mound but he acts like that is where he belongs.
All Statistic information provided by baseball-reference.com.