I’ve been very high on Simon Castro, the Padres’ top pitching prospect, for about a year now.
Being a college student with less-than-unlimited resources, of course, I don’t often get to see minor leaguers. I get the MiLB.tv package, which shows off a lot of AAA games, but it’s tough to see guys lower than that unless they happen to play in the Carolina League (I live in Virginia).
Therefore, I basically have to go about my prospect hunting through stats, scouting reports, and (if any are available) film clips. I hadn’t seen any film of Castro.
I finally got to see him pitch today, as he threw two scoreless innings for the Padres in one of their exhibition games on MLB.tv.
I thought I’d offer a quick scouting report on him for those who didn’t watch.
Castro’s mechanics looked surprisingly sound for a young pitcher–in fact, when I initially saw him start throwing (before being able to read the name on the back of his jersey), I thought he was a more control-oriented pitcher, perhaps Wynn Pelzer, just from his mechanics.
I think that his subdued mechanics thus create a bit of deception, as hitters don’t expect a pitcher with his delivery to start unleashing power stuff.
Castro’s fastball sat in the low 90’s with decent late life, and he showed a playable changeup.
The pitch that really struck me, however, was Castro’s slider. It showed impressive two-plane break and almost looked like a curveball in the mid 80’s. He located it well, usually down and away, and the only contact I saw off of the breaking pitch was hit on the ground.
Castro’s command was solid, as he didn’t walk a batter in two innings. His release point came and went, and he didn’t always repeat his delivery, so he’ll need to clean that up somewhat to reach his full potential, but he was consistent enough to get the job done at least for today against big league hitters.
After Aaron Poreda and Jackson Quezada combined to allow nine runs in one inning, Castro really stuck out as a great young pitcher, going two scoreless innings.
He’ll only open 2010 at High-A ball, and it’s the high-offense California League, but I see that slider playing anywhere, and Castro’s fastball is a very good pitch as well. With fairly clean mechanics, a durable 6’4″ frame, and Petco Park behind him, he could be a future ace for the Padres.