WILLI CASTRO DETROIT #11
Willi Castro | Rank: 11 (Preseason: 7)
Team: Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)ETA: 2019Position: SSAge: 22 DOB: 04/24/1997Bats: S Throws: RHeight: 6′ 1″ Weight: 205 lb.Signed: July 2, 2013 – CLE
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
Signed by Indians for $825,000 in July 2013, Castro has improved his prospect stock at every stage of his career despite being one of the youngest everyday players at his respective level. He started to put it all together as a 20-year-old in 2017 when he finished among the Carolina League leaders in hits (second), batting average (fourth) and runs scored (sixth). The Indians rewarded him with a spot on their 40-man roster after the season. A move to Double-A in 2018 proved a challenge for Castro, but the Tigers saw enough offensive upside to get him in exchange for Leonys Martin at the Trade Deadline in July. He made a strong impression in his Tigers organizational debut following the trade, hitting .317/.353/.516 over 31 games and finishing the season at Triple-A Toledo.
Castro is unique in the sense that he’s a switch-hitter who produces similar splits. He knows how to get the barrel to the ball and makes line-drive contact from both sides of the plate. He’s begun to tap into some power as he’s filled out physically, and given his remaining projection, double-digit home run totals seem like a possibility. While his approach continues to be highly aggressive, his strikeout and walk rates have held steady during his climb through the Minors. An above-average runner, Castro has stolen at least 16 bags in three straight seasons but still has gains to make in his efficiency.
A loose and athletic infielder, Castro has the necessary soft hands, actions and arm strength to stick at shortstop. An average defender, he showed more consistency in 2018 by committing just 15 errors after back-to-back 25-error campaigns, though he did regress on that front in his first full Triple-A campaign. With further improvements on both sides of the ball, Castro could develop into an everyday player.