Jesus Castillo is another highly underrated, valuable prospect waiting in the wings of the LA Angels system. Castillo has spent a lot of time developing across multiple systems, spending time with the Diamondbacks and Cubs before coming to the Angels in the Joe Smith trade back in 2016.
Initially, Castillo was signed by the Diamondbacks out of Venezuela in 2011 and was sent to the Cubs in 2013 before finally making his way to the LA Angels system in 2016.
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Jesus Castillo hasn’t had too much fanfare throughout his trip through the Minors, and though he took a few seasons and a couple of organizations to finally develop into valuable form Castillo is looking like a solid lock for the Majors. One of the biggest standout tools in his game is his top-level command, you could very well say that’s the name of his game. Like Dan Haren, pinpoint control is what takes him over the top.
Jesus Castillo (RHP)
Signed August 27th 2011 – (Arizona)
His stuff is solid, don’t get me wrong, with an average velocity fastball that sinks on hitters Castillo is very good at producing swing-and-misses as well as ground balls. His curveball/change-up mix is very deceptive with the two pitches looking all too similar until the break comes in. There are a lot of little things Castillo does in his pitching motions that come together to offer the success he’s able to find time and time again. His ability to hide the ball exceptionally well is just another thing that keeps hitters guessing with Castillo.
Castillo has been overlooked by many pundits given his somewhat slow development, though when coming to the Angels Castillo began to thrive with 29.2 innings of 2.43 ERA baseball in 2016. In 2017 he pitched the most productive season of his career with a total 124.2 innings across three levels in the Angels system, ending in Double A with 23 innings pitched to 3.04 ERA.
Given that movement and control are critical aspects of a MLB pitchers success and longevity you can guess that Castillo has the natural ability to survive in the big leagues. While his fastball tops out in the low 90’s he still has the control and deception to use it as an out-pitch. It’s that Jered Weaver/Dan Haren type pitching where the money is all in the delivery. Castillo’s strong delivery allows him to stay on top of his control while also keeping hitters off-balance. His deceptive off-speed pitches and ability to place them all over the zone is something that can keep him successful for a long time.
While he does look to settle into the Majors as a middle to lower end starter there is the chance that he could end up a top of the rotation guy. He’s 23 already, so while he can possibly add strength and velocity to his game it’s not something to hold your breath on. Regardless of upping his velocity Castillo will find success on the strength of his pitching aptitude and pinpoint maneuvers.
Much like Jaime Barria, Jesus Castillo can very well find immediate success when coming to the Majors based on his tool-set. He has above-average control, great deception, consistency in his delivery and movement in his pitches that can be lethal at times. All in all he’s pretty close to working himself out in the Majors, all that is needed is a little more time at the highest level of the Minors (Triple A) before being ready to introduce the big leagues to his stuff.
It’ll be fun seeing exactly where he settles in as a big league starter given his potential, and regardless of whether he settles in the top of bottom of a rotation it’s unquestionable that he will bring fantastic value to the Angels very soon.
Developmental Needs: Velocity, Triple A Reps
Best Tools: Control, Deception, Delivery, Consistency
MLB Estimation: 2019-2020