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Canadians Castro Promoted!

I don’t want to get into a philosophical discussion on whether an unemployed person gets to take vacation, but technically speaking I’m on vacation right now.  With the wife giving me a stern lecture on computer usage this weekend, I had fully expected to take a tiny break from the Blue Jays system.  Apparently the Jays brass had other ideas.

After a quiet non-waiver trade deadline (something I had little issue with) Toronto fed us prospect hounds a heaping tablespoon of awesomeness Friday with a flurry of activity.  I don’t have time to run through them all, so will focus on Vancouver. The Canadians were dealt a major blow when it was announced that starter Miguel Castro had been promoted to the Lansing Lugnuts.

Generally speaking, I’m all for prospects earning promotions through strong play, but in this case I’m going to be a bit selfish.  I wanted to see Castro at least a couple more times.  I did get to chart him twice.  Once in June and again in July.  I won’t rehash those posts in depth.  Overall, Castro’s stuff was just too good for Northwest League hitters.  I still think he has some issues to iron out, most notably with the slider.  With his low 3/4 arm slot he sometimes struggles to get on top it, making it a bit slurvy without any real depth.

His change up is also a bit of work in progress.  It has nice velocity separation from his mid to high 90s fastball, coming in 10 to 12 miles an hour slower, generally in the 82 to 84 range.  It also flashes nice depth and arm side run.  The only problem comes from the arm speed Castro uses to deliver it.  C’s pitching coach Jeff Ware told me it can get noticeably slower.  The more advanced hitters of the Midwest League may start to pick up on something like that.

I’m nitpicking here.  All in all, Castro has been excellent.  Provided he continues to spot his excellent fastball he’ll be fine.  As one scout told me after watching him at the Nat, ‘the kid can throw 95 with run, the Jays have plenty of time to teach him an effective breaking ball.’

Although I don’t expect Castro to dominate in Lansing like he did in Vancouver, the experience will be good for him. The Jays have been aggressive with their pitching prospects this year and this move is no different.  Miguel may find that his raw stuff isn’t good enough in the Midwest League which will force him to refine his secondary offerings.  Working with Vince Horsman can’t hurt either.

For Vancouver, this is a huge blow.  Castro has been head and shoulders their best starter.  With the C’s struggling a bit so far this second half, losing their top hurler won’t help the push for a fourth straight Northwest League title.

For me this is a huge blow.  The prospect capital of the C’s takes a massive hit.  I did tweet that if we got Matt Smoral as a replacement then it would soften the blow somewhat.  Wonder if the Jays will hear my pleas.

The promotion also leads me to believe that the Jays may look to test Franklin Barreto against better pitching sooner rather than later.  I’ve said all along that the Venezualen shortstop, the youngest player in the NWL, would stay here for the season.  But I also said that about Castro.  If Barreto continues to hit, Toronto may look to squeeze him into the Lugnut roster, despite the presence of fellow top prospect Dawel Lugo.

Now that would be a sad day.

Speaking of which, I suppose this is the last time I get to use my creative accounting method to look at Castro’s stats minus that one bad third of an inning he put up in Hillsboro.

Castro Current IP HR ER HBP BB SO WHIP FIP SO/9 SO:BB
2014 50.1 2 12 1 20 53 1.12 3.41 9.52 2.65
Minus The ‘Inning’ 50 1 6 1 17 52 1.00 3.01 9.36 3.06
ERA 2.16 to 1.08

 

That 3.01 FIP would put him second in the league in that category.  The kid had a season, there’s no doubt about that.

The only thing left will be where he comes in during the off-season top prospects lists.  I had him at 18 last year.  Just ahead of outfielder Dalton Pompey.  One would think they’ll be fairly close next year as well.  Just a whole lot higher.

Still my favourite Castro pic. Mainly for what's going on in background

Still my favourite Castro pic. Mainly for what’s going on in background

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