May 4th, 2023 Scoreboard
- Triple-A Oklahoma City 2, El Paso 8
- Double-A Tulsa, San Antonio PPD (Rain)
- High-A Great Lakes 4, Quad Cities 2
- Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Lake Elsinore PPD (Rain)
With a free agent feeding frenzy going on last December (and the Dodgers opting to fast), the claiming of Yon Castro from the Yankees was little more than a footnote. To be fair, it was with rather good reason — 23-year-olds who haven’t made it to the High-A level despite being in their fourth professional season have a way of yielding rather tepid levels of excitement.
Just the same, the Dodgers plucked the 6’0 tall Dominican hurler in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, and thus far, he has not disappointed:
One benefit of Castro having played in the Florida State League is that they utilized the automated balls and strikes (ABS) system in 2022, which means there is legit data on his repertoire:
-His four seamer, though not exceptionally hard (92.49, t96.6), shows solid metrics, with 60th percentile RPM and a flatter vertical approach angle of -4.75°.
-The changeup has good separation from the fastball, coming in at 81.49 mph, and he also does a good job of killing spin on the pitch, coming in at just 1600 RPM, helping to provide it with the whiff-inducing sink shown in the above video.
-The slider is a bit light, averaging just 80.28 mph, and the spin isn’t exceptional at 2312. Indeed the last strikeout above came on a slider, and though it got a whiff, it had a bit of a softer break than you’d like to see. Ideally, the dev machine helps him pump the thing into the mid-80s to give him three distinct velo levels, and that should tighten up the break as well.
Absent improvement of the third pitch, Castro profiles as a multi-inning reliever, who can face both righties and lefties due to his ability to pull the string on his changeup at will. Considering it cost the Dodgers all of $24,500.00 to free him from the banality of shaving rules, that outcome would be money very well-spent.
Yunior Garcia puts on one hell of a dong show:
381′, 106 mph off the bat, and he was a little in front of a breaker. That is some strength.
(Because it’s too much fun not to show, here’s another homer, and goodness.)
Anyway, it’s hard to blame Garcia for thoroughly enjoying himself. The 21-year-old Dominican had an absolutely abysmal time of it last Summer in his first go-round at the High-A level, when he slashed just .152/.147/.152 in a 20-game venti cup of coffee in the Midwest League. 2023 got off to a similarly difficult start, as he was slashing just .120/.120/.240 across his first six games, but he has caught fire of late, posting a robust line of .314/.385/.600 in his last 10 contests.
If a good 10-game run is all it took to get a party like this, well I hope he keeps the ball rolling. Or flying, anyway.
Here’s Friday’s start times for the minor-league clubs (all times Pacific), along with the Dodger affiliate’s starting pitcher:
- Oklahoma City at El Paso – 5:35 PM, Bobby Miller
- Tulsa vs San Antonio – 3:05 PM, Emmet Sheehan
- Great Lakes vs Quad Cities – 3:05 PM, Orlando Ortiz-Mayr
- Rancho Cucamonga at Lake Elsinore – 7:15 PM, TBD (Luis Valdez was the scheduled starter for Thursday’s rained out game, he is likely to get the nod)
Enjoy your Friday, folks.