Opening Day Age: 23
Height/Weight: 6’0″/195 lbs
2016 MMN Top Prospect Rank: N/R
In 2015, Alejandro Castro was signed as an undrafted free agent out of NAIA school Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. At Faulkner University, Castro became the team’s closer saving 11 games while having a 1.60 ERA. Upon signing with the Mets, he was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Mets, the teams Rookie League Affiliate. In 18 games, Castro pitched 22.0 innings going 1-1 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, and a 6.1 K/9. Due to his success in the Rookie Leagues, the Mets assigned him to the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets short season affiliate.
So far this year, Castro has pitched ten innings over eight appearances for the Cyclones. He is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.200 WHIP while striking out 8.1 batters per nine innings.
As you can see from the below video from a side session Castro threw at Faulkner University, he is a side-armed right-handed pitcher who is best suited to coming out of the bullpen to get right-hand batters out.
During his time in the Mets minor league system, Castro has tightened up his delivery. The result is that he hides the ball a little longer when delivering a pitch to a right-handed batter. The effect is that his low 90’s fastball comes up quicker on the hitter creating less solid contact. It also has led to Castro being able to strike out more batters in a limited sample size this year. In addition to his fastball, Castro also is working on a slider. As we have seen in the Mets farm system, as pitchers get closer to the major leagues, they begin to work on and develop the Warthen slider. If and when that happens, it will give Castro an additional pitch that will help him succeed in the majors.
What the Future Holds
Given his ability to get outs in the low level of the minor leagues and his ability to make adjustments, Castro should be ticketed for the Columbia Fireflies, by the end of this season or Opening Day next year. Given Castro’s relatively advanced age for each level he’s played on, he’s going to have to give the Mets a reason to accelerate him through the minor league system a little more quickly than they have been doing so far in his young career if he’s going to get a realistic shot at the majors.
The other issue potentially holding Castro back is the fact that the Mets drafted Adam Atkins this year in the 18th round out of Louisiana Tech University. Atkins has a similar skill set than Castro, but so far in fewer appearances, he has not had as much success as Castro. Ultimately, Castro will have to outlast not only Atkins but whoever else the Mets draft or sign to pitch in their minor league systems.
Ultimately, Castro does has a skill set that could potentially allow him to be a ROOGY, i.e. a Chad Bradford style of pitcher, in the major leagues if he continues to develop and the Mets give him the opportunity to progress through the major league system.