Blue Jays Prospect Spotlight: Dunedin’s Maximo Castillo

Join Jays From the Couch as we spotlight Maximo Castillo, a 20-yr-old pitching prospect in the Blue Jays system

 

Maximo Castillo

Acquired: Signed as a IFA on September 25th, 2015

Handedness: RHP

Age: 20

 

MiLB Awards/Honor

2018 Mid-Season All-Star with the Lansing Lugnuts

July 30th, 2017- Pitcher of the Week with the Bluefield Blue Jays

 

The 6-foot-2 pitcher out of Caracas, Venezuela started his career in 2016 with trips to the Dominican Summer League (0-0, 2.45ERA in 4GP) and Gulf Coast League (2-3, 4.62ERA in 9GP). A steady mover, Castillo climbed the ladder in the Blue Jays system with stops in Bluefield (2017, 6-0, 3.80ERA in 10GP) and Lansing (2018, 10-5, 4.52ERA in 28GP) before landing in Dunedin to start 2019.

 

Last season, Maximo started the season in a piggyback tandem through April and May. He claimed a spot in the rotation by June. In his first month as a starter, he went 4-1 with a 4.50ERA while walking 10 and striking out 20 over 22IP. You can see his final record for the season in the paragraph above.

 

Maximo Castillo is the youngest pitcher (to qualify) in the Florida State League. There are a few other 20-yr-old pitchers with fewer innings, notably Twins Blayne Enlow and Jordan Balazovic.

 

Results

Despite his age, Maximo got off to a good start with Dunedin. He went 1-2 with a 2.33ERA in 27IP (5 starts) in April. He also had a nice May with a 2-2 record and 3.16ERA. He finally stumbled to a 1-1, 5.06ERA in 5 starts in June but has bounced back with a vengeance in 2 July starts. This recovery has shown an ability to learn and develop when faced with adversity.

 

In July, Castillo picked a win on the 5th with 5.2 scoreless innings, striking 7 and walking 1 while holding his opponent to just 2 hits. He followed that start with 6 innings of one-run ball, walking one and striking out 8 while holding his opponent to 3 hits.

 

Maximo leads the D-Jays with 17 starts and 91IP. He is 2nd with 78K and 5 wins.

 

Whatcha Got There?

The stocky righty (256lbs) throws a low to mid-90’s fastball with sink and good ability to locate. His slider sitting in the mid to hi-70’s with the potential to get over 80. He throws his slider with confidence. His change is a mid-80’s pitch which looks like a nice pitch and one he will need to further develop if he hopes to stay in the rotation. He also has a really nice cutter which he mixes with FB since it is a few ticks slower than his FB and runs in on RHB rather than sinks.

Splits

Maximo Castillo is getting more outs from flyballs in 2019 than in years past. His GB/FB went from 2.06 with Bluefield in 2017 to 1.08 with Lansing in 2018 to 0.83 with Dunedin. He owns a 38.4GB% and 46.4FB%. Fortunately, Castillo has lowered his LD% from mid 20% in ’17 and ’18 to 15.2% which very impressive. He has allowed 6HR, 2nd to Justin Dillon‘s 9, which is 0.59HR/9 and 4.9% HR/FB which are both improvements over his previous marks.

 

Dunedin’s youngster has owned LHB, holding them to a .210 batting average versus RHB who are hitting .271 against him.

 

More Numbers

While he doesn’t strike out a tonne (7.71K/9) he does a great job of limiting walks (1.88BB/9). This has allowed him to maintain nice 1.11WHIP as he has allowed opponents to bat .240 off him with 82 hits in 91IP. 

 

He owns a 3.23FIP and 3.53xFIP along with a .292BABIP which are in line with his 3.16ERA. This suggests that Maximo should continue to see the same results at this level.

 

Closing

Castillo has thrown 319.2IP in his career. Remember, he turned 20 in May. That is a lot inningsdevelopment for a young man. There are question marks around his athletism and maybe even his fitness and projectability as a ML starter.

 

Right now, Maximo Castillo will remain a start, proving his club with consistent pitching. He should stay healthy as his mechanics are sound and repeatable. He almost appears to be playing toss. He could end up filling a similar role to Luis Santos who was a long man/spot starter for Buffalo and Toronto a season or two back.

 

The 20-yr-old won’t be Rule 5 eligible until the end of the 2020 season which gives the Blue Jays a lot of time to figure out what his future role will be. We can expect Castillo to finish out the season in Dunedin. Even if  Nate Pearson, Hector Perez, Patrick Murphy, and Yennsy Diaz begin moving up from New Hampshire, there appears to be enough depth to keep Maximo in the FSL.

 

 

 

 


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Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.