Webster Award winner faces heightened expectations

Young Blue Jays prospect Miguel Castro looks to build off the momentum of a breakout season

DUNEDIN, Fla. — The sky is the limit for Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Miguel Castro.

Hailing from La Romana, Dominican Republic, Castro grew up admiring fellow countryman Pedro Martinez and tries to model his game after the power pitcher.

Castro grew up admiring fellow countryman Pedro Martinez and tries to model his game after the power pitcher.
Castro grew up admiring fellow countryman Pedro Martinez and tries to model his game after the power pitcher. (Castro)

Last season was a strong year for Castro. He played at three different levels in the Blue Jays minor-league system including the rookie Dominican Summer League, rookie Gulf Coast League, and had a brief stint in the rookie-class Appalachian League for the Bluefield Blue Jays.

Castro absolutely dominated in the DSL posting a 1.36 ERA in 53.0 innings, with 12 walks and 71 strikeouts. He also managed to keep hitters to a .208 average and recorded a 0.98 WHIP.

“I was a Webster Award winner, which is MVP for the Dominican Summer League team and I got to go to Toronto,” said Castro. “I was on the field and that was the highlight of my career so far, being recognized by all the fans of Toronto, and to be in Canada.”

The Dominican raised the bar with his strong performance last year and is ready for the heightened expectations.

“I have to be prepared mentally and continue to work hard physically,” said the right-handed pitcher. “[I want to] work really hard to get to an affiliate where they think I fit.”

Standing 6-foot-5 and 190-pounds, Castro still has a ways to go to fill out his lanky frame, but he already has the skill set and confidence desired of professional pitchers.

“I’m very aggressive so that’s probably my best [skill], I don’t think I have any major weaknesses,” he said.

At only 18 years old, Castro has not only the tools but also the mental maturity for a bright future in baseball.

“I’ve got a technique for thinking about the future; the way it’s going to transpire,” said Castro. “I think about, for instance I’ll throw a pitch and I’ll see how the ball comes out of my hand, and visualize it.”

Castro’s passion for the game continues off the field and throughout the off-season.

“Even when I’m not playing, I’m thinking about baseball and trying to learn more.”

The young hurler looks forward to carrying over the momentum from last years’ success. While it’s unlikely that he will get the call up this season, he has the potential for a successful pitching career in the majors, whether it’s a part of the starting rotation or the bullpen.