The Detroit Tigers brought in Anthony Castro at the young age of sixteen; now twenty-four, he is looking to pitch his way to the big leagues for the first time in his career.
In 2011, the Detroit Tigers stumbled across a flame-throwing pitcher by the name of Anthony Castro out of Venezuela. He had a lot of question marks, and nine years later, he has worked his way up to Triple-A and is on the organizations’ 40-man roster.
With the state of the Tigers rotation spots being taken up by names like Iván Nova and Jordan Zimmermann, he may still find his way into the rotation for a couple of starts. With the schedule for the 2020 regular season in limbo, who knows how many games will be crammed into a small timetable this season, and he may get called up for doubleheaders.
It was not a smooth road through the organization, Castro would need Tommy John Surgery that sidelined him. He would finally break out of rookie-ball in 2017, where he played at the Single-A level with the West Michigan Whitecaps.
From there, he would make the jump to the Double-A Erie Seawolves after a stint in the Florida Summer League with the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
Last year he spent the entire season with the Double-A Erie Seawolves, and he is poised to jump to Triple-A with the Toledo Mud Hens this season, and maybe even the big leagues.
Castro stands 6-foot-2, 190-pounds with an easy delivery, and a high three-quarters arm slot. He made eighteen starts and had twenty-seven appearances in 2019, totaling 102.1 innings pitched. Throughout the season, he earned a 5-3 record while striking out 116 with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
He features a three-pitch mix with a fastball that can touch the upper 90s, but control is an issue for the right-hander. His changeup sits in the mid-80s with decent movement, but his slider/slurve is the go-to breaking pitch.
Castro gets a good amount of swings and misses on the slurve, which has phenomenal movement to it. He does tend to miss in on the right-handed hitters, and away on the left-handed hitters. The continued issue of control sets him up to be more of a reliever in the big leagues.
If Castro can use his time in Triple-A to straighten out control issues, he may stick as a back of the rotation starter with long relief most likely. The fact that he throws gas on the mound means he might be better suited to come in, throw gas, use the offspeed stuff for swings and misses and be successful out of the bullpen.
The game is changing, and versatile bullpen arms seem to be quite valuable, looking at teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, and even New York Yankees to an extent. Castro could become one of those versatile, spot start/long relief arm or the late game flamethrower who can be a little erratic.
For now, who knows when Castro will even pick up a baseball again in a Detroit Tigers uniform, but when that time comes, hopefully, he will earn a shot to pitch in the big leagues.