Continuing with our prospect profiles, today I look at Luis Castillo. Again, with us looking at the Tigers top 40 prospects coming up soon, Castillo is going to fit outside of that, however he is still a guy worth tracking. He is more than likely going to start 2012 in Lakeland.
For the full scouting report, just continue on…….
Luis Castillo is a 22 year old right handed hitter, signed as a free agent out of Agua Dulce, Panama in 2007. Castillo spent 2007 and 08′ in both the VSL and DSL, and struggled as a hitter. He didn’t get his batting average over .245 either year, but Castillo did display some idea of the strike zone, walking more than he struck out both years. The Tigers brought Castillo stateside in 2009, and he got his first action in the GCL and Lakeland in 2009. He again struggled, hitting just .218 for the year with little to no power. He did steal 7 of 8 bases, and had a 1/2 BB/K ratio. In 2010 Castillo again started in the Gulf Coast League, and this time the bat perked up. Castillo hit .323 in 65 at-bats before moving on to high A Lakeland, and struggling once again. Castillo did hit .252 overall in 2010, but again showed little power. 2011 saw Castillo sent to West Michigan to start in his first full season league. Castillo showed quite a bit of improvement, especially in the first half where his batting average hovered around .300. A 2nd half slump caused his average to drop to .267 by seasons end, but there was some doubles power shown off by Castillo and he had a 40/69 BB/K ratio.
Castillo isn’t much physically, so he is never going to hit for a ton of power. At 5’11 and 160 lbs, Castillo relies mostly on a game that will have to include hitting line drives and using his speed to leg out doubles and triples. I wouldn’t call Castillo a patient hitter in the box, though he does have good enough hand-eye coordination to avoid striking out a ton. He doesn’t walk enough at this point in his career, though he did do a much better job of that in 2011 than he did the previous year. Given his lack of physicality, Castillo will have to rely on his bat control and speed going forward. There is some potential to hit behind a good leadoff guy, Castillo can bunt, and when he does drive a ball, he gets out of the box well and doesn’t take long to get to full speed. Despite his slightly above average speed, his instincts need some work when stealing bases, as his percentage isn’t as good as it should be.
Defensively is where Castillo really excels. Castillo plays center field, and plays it really well. Unlike his base stealing, Castillo shows real good instincts in center, getting good jumps off the bat. He covers quite a bit of ground and I have seen on several occasions where he has made plays that normal guys in CF just don’t make. He also shows a solid arm out there, and seems equally adept at coming in and going back on balls.
I am not going to blow smoke up peoples butt here. Castillo is a long shot to make it to the big leagues. His offensive skills, while not terrible, are going to make it difficult for him going forward. There is enough improvement in 2011 with the bat though to be interested in seeing how he handles Lakeland in 2012. If he can continue hitting for a decent average with some doubles power Castillo will move up Tigers prospects lists, though I am not sure I see him being able to maintain his first half of 2011. Still, his defensive prowess is strong enough that you could see him as a 5th outfielder type at the big league level that can come in and replace someone late in innings.