Back-to-back profiles on college bats in a weak draft year for them? You bet. This one is on Adrian Del Castillo of the University of Miami.
5’11, 208 pounds
DOB: Sept. 27, 1999
Coral Gables, Fla.
*Not updated since Jan. 5
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $2,424,600
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
If we’ve learned anything about the Dodgers’ approach to prospects in the last almost decade, it’s that they never have a shortage of quality catching prospects. If they were to pop Del Castillo with their first pick, that pipeline would only strengthen. The bat-first catcher burst onto the scene in his freshman year, hitting .331/.418/.576 for the Hurricanes. He came into the season as one of the best college bats in the class, and while he got off to a slow start, he still hit .275/.380/.395 on the season.
Del Castillo is a pure hitter with an advanced feel for the strike zone. He has an easy swing as a left-handed hitter and sprays line drives all over the field. He has a quick bat and level swing path. If we know anything about the Dodgers’ player development department, you can bet on them adding a little elevation to his batted-ball profile. He has shown at least average power in the past. But the quick hands and bat speed are a plus for his hitting profile.
Defense is the biggest question mark for Del Castillo. He’s not a premium defender, but he has worked with Salvador Perez to improve behind the dish. His arm is fringe-average and he’s not the most agile catcher, so he’ll have to excel in other areas to make up for those deficiencies. He has some history in the outfield for Miami, and it’s not out of the question he could end up in a corner. He could also end up at first base, but that would put even more pressure on his bat. He’s not much of a runner, either, so there isn’t a ton of value there.
Del Castillo’s bat plays up because he’s a catcher, but he does have some impact potential as a hitter. How impactful will depend on how his power develops. His profile is a bit like present-day Keibert Ruiz (if you haven’t noticed, he’s hitting quite well in Triple-A). If the Dodgers nabbed him at the end of the first round, they might be able to save a few bucks to use later in the draft.