LAKELAND, Fla. – For Harold Castro, this spring training is an opportunity to continue his development.
The minor-league second baseman has been a great addition to the infield in the Detroit Tigers organization, putting up outstanding numbers on defence, especially in his most recent season with the Class-A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers.
The Tigers first thought of Castro as a great contact hitter with average defence, and scouting reports note that his improvement with the glove has elevated his potential and now he is looking to become a better overall player.
“I want to improve every single part of my game,” Castro said in Spanish. “But I especially want to work on my offence in this spring training. I’m working on my pitch recognition to become a more intelligent batter.”
Offensively, he finished last season with a .299 batting average, 63 hits, 10 runs batted in and 40 stolen bases. Defensively, Castro finished with an impressive .991 fielding percentage, with 131 infield assists and just two errors in 48 games.
“I felt great last season, it was an amazing season for me,” said the Venezuelan second baseman. “I improved a lot offensively from 2013 and I finished the season strong.”
Castro left Venezuela at 17 years old, and he kept playing in the Venezuelan summer league until his got called up in 2012. For him, adapting to a different culture hasn’t been easy, but he’s been very patient adapting to his new surroundings.
“Everything is different here, especially the food,” Castro said. “I had to adapt to that, to the culture and the language. I’m still learning and adapting.”
The infielder spoke about the Venezuelan community inside the Tigers, with Omar Vizquel as a coach now, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Bruce Rondon, Hernan Perez, and how important they’ve been in his development.
“Having Venezuelan coaching staff and players around me, it’s a great help and a great motivation,” said Castro. “They are examples for me, Omar was a reference in my country, and Miguel and Victor are the stars of the team.”
He is confident about his chances in the organization, that’s why he is been preparing and working hard every day.
“I think I have a great shot on playing with the big team in a couple of years, there has been openings at my position,” said Castro. “I feel great and capable of playing in whatever league I am in.”
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