The Chicago White Sox have acquired right-handed pitcher Simon Castro and left-hander Pedro Hernandez from the San Diego Padres in exchange for outfielder Carlos Quentin.
Simon Castro’s stats:
|2010||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||SDP||7||7||.500||3.28||26||25||0||0||0||0||140.0||123||65||51||9||42||1||113||6||3||2||583||1.179||7.9||0.6||2.7||7.3||2.69|
|2011||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||SDP||7||8||.467||5.63||22||22||0||0||0||0||115.0||132||78||72||14||34||0||94||6||2||9||505||1.443||10.3||1.1||2.7||7.4||2.76|
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||12||12||.500||3.49||40||39||0||0||0||0||219.0||202||103||85||17||52||1||180||12||4||5||904||1.160||8.3||0.7||2.1||7.4||3.46|
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||2||3||.400||9.50||8||8||0||0||0||0||36.0||53||40||38||6||24||0||27||0||1||6||184||2.139||13.2||1.5||6.0||6.8||1.13|
Pedro Hernandez’ stats:
|2009||20||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-A-||SDP||4||2||.667||5.80||13||9||0||0||0||0||49.2||64||36||32||6||8||0||46||3||4||4||219||1.450||11.6||1.1||1.4||8.3||5.75|
|2011||22||3 Teams||3 Lgs||A+-AA-AAA||SDP||10||3||.769||3.49||28||18||2||0||0||0||116.0||119||53||45||10||22||2||94||0||0||0||482||1.216||9.2||0.8||1.7||7.3||4.27|
|AA (1 season)||AA||3||2||.600||3.48||9||8||0||0||0||0||41.1||39||17||16||4||10||0||43||0||0||0||171||1.185||8.5||0.9||2.2||9.4||4.30|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||2||1||.667||6.00||4||4||0||0||0||0||18.0||28||17||12||3||6||0||7||0||0||0||85||1.889||14.0||1.5||3.0||3.5||1.17|
Kenny Williams had some interesting comments on both acquisitions. On Castro:
Castro is projected by the White Sox as a starter but could end up as a late-inning reliever with his fastball in the mid 90s, a hard split and a plus slider. Williams pointed to a back issue felt by Castro, which has since been corrected, that affected his delivery, stamina and stuff during last year’s struggles. In looking at video of Castro, Williams also sees mechanics flaws similar to what the White Sox saw and then corrected with Jose Contreras when he first joined the team.
and on Hernandez:
Hernandez, 22, has developed nicely over the last two years. Williams called him a “strike-throwing machine,” and while he presently throws a few too many fly balls for a hitter-friendly ballpark like U.S. Cellular Field, Williams believes that the left-hander has the sink and cutter to develop as another rotation guy.
“There are some similarities we see in him that remind us of Jose and some of the issues he has had this past year that he didn’t have before,” Williams said of Castro’s disappointing 7-8 season with a 5.63 ERA at both Double-A and Triple-A. “Sometimes guys get out of whack. This guy is 6-foot-5, throws 90-95 [mph], a lower three-quarter angle and gets around balls but can drop a hard split and he can locate, when he’s right.”
John Sickels had this to say today on Simon Castro:
Castro still has a fine arm, featuring a 90-95 MPH fastball. His slider has plus moments, but he’s still working to refine his changeup. His mechanics are complicated and his command fails if they get out of whack, but the arm strength for success is still here, and until ’11 he did a good job throwing strikes most of the time. He still has a chance to be a starting pitcher, although many scouts prefer him in relief. I have him rated as a Grade C+ in my upcoming 2012 Baseball Prospect Book.
and Pedro Hernandez:
Hernandez has an 88-92 MPH fastball along with a good changeup and mediocre curve. There’s nothing spectacular about him, but he throws strikes and could develop into a fifth starter or a relief option. I currently rate him as a Grade C prospect.
and the overall trade:
The White Sox didn’t obtain a premium prospect for Quentin, but Castro still has considerable upside and perhaps the change of scenery will help his development.
Baseball America’s Matt Eddy made these comments today on Simon Castro:
Owner of the best slider in the Padres system prior to the trade, Castro seemed poised for big things in 2011 as he tackled Triple-A for the first time, but the bubble burst early. Castro landed on the disabled list with a lat injury after six starts for Tucson yielded a 10.17 ERA and 21-18 K-BB ratio. He recovered somewhat after a demotion to San Antonio in June, and he closed out the season on a high note, notching a 35-5 K-BB ratio and 2.53 ERA over his final seven starts. At fault for Castro’s regression: out-of-whack mechanics in which he failed to extend on the front side of his delivery and also recoiled his arm. He’s always pitched with a long arm action, so the Padres traced his troubles back to his starting assignment in the 2010 Futures Game, in which he allowed two runs in one inning. He hasn’t pitched with the same consistency since. Castro’s velocity dipped into the high 80s early in the 2011 season before he recovered to pitch at 92-94 mph and touch 96 with tailing action later in the year. His slider showed trademark late bite and 82-84 mph velocity at times, though just as often it resembled a three-quarters slurve. The changeup could be a fringe-average pitch in the mid-80s with more refinement. If Castro rediscovers his two plus pitches and control he still profiles as a mid-rotation arm or set-up reliever.
and Pedro Hernandez:
Hernandez always has thrown a quality changeup and shown strong command, but his prospect status began to take hold when his velocity began to creep up halfway through the 2010 season. Signed at age 18 out of Venezuela, Hernandez initially topped out near 87 mph but that has since become the low point for his fastball range. The Padres say the lefty has touched 95 on occasion, but more often he sits in the low 90s and works both sides of the plate with a riding fastball. Batters don’t pick up the ball well against the short and stocky Hernandez, which helps his solid-average, low-80s changeup play up. Hernandez’s mid- to low-80s slider/cutter doesn’t elicit much praise, but it could be a fringe-average offering for him in time. Hernandez may not have a deep enough repertoire to start in the big leagues, but he could grow into a nifty lefty reliever capable of facing both righties and lefties.
And some older reports. John Sickels was impressed with Castro a year ago:
2) Simon Castro, RHP, Grade B+: I think he’ll need a year of Triple-A to finish refining his breaking ball and control, but I remain impressed with him overall.
2) Simon Castro, RHP, Grade B+: Got killed at Triple-A Tucson early, 10.17 ERA with 21/18 K/BB and 37 hits in 26 innings. Now back at San Antonio, 5.34 ERA with 57/12 K/BB in 59 innings, 74 hits. Very disappointing in all respects.
Diamond Futures gave Castro an A- grade before the 2011 season:
4) Simon Castro, RHP(2010 – Dominance 54; Control 64; HRrate 56; Stamina 72)
We continue to waiver on Castro, sometimes believing that he could become a powerful #2 Major League starter, and other times not sure that he wouldn’t be best used as a dominating back of the bullpen reliever. Castro has been on our radar longer than most anyone, as we first took notice when he posted a Top 10 Performance Score in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) in 2006. In 2008, he posted another Top 10 Score in the Northwest League (NWL), followed by a #12 Score in the MWL in 2009 and a #8 Score in the Texas League (TXL) this past season. The point is that he has been remarkably consistent over a five year stretch—something that bodes well for his longer term outlook. At 6’5”, 210lbs, Castro is remarkably durable—averaging 26 starts for each of the last two seasons. With a low- to mid-90s fastball—that he throws from a large downward plane—and two at least average secondary offerings—all of which he has above average command, Castro has substantial upside. While the downside is limited, we do still have concerns. Castro has a tendency to over rely on his fastball. His change still needs considerable work Finally, Castro doesn’t possess the pitchability that would give us more confidence in his eventual role. The Padres skipped Castro over Hi-A in 2010, and the 22yo looks ready to take on AAA in 2011. He will battle Casey Kelly for the opportunity, if one should arise, in San Diego this season.
ProjectProspect’s Adam Foster scouted Castro in 2010:
Castro has room to improve his command, but I saw him show a feel for three pitches that could be average or better in the bigs. The big righty pitched with a purpose. He wasn’t just throwing the heck out of the ball every time, instead opting to aim for corners and keeping hitters off-balance with thought-out pitch sequences and locations. I saw Castro follow up one outside slider that eluded the catcher’s glove with another slider that painted the black and put him back ahead in the count. Still, pitches got away from him every once and a while.Though he did only have two wild pitches and six hit batters in 2010, he is going to need to command each of his offerings better to reach his ceiling as a No. 1 starter. Castro’s fastball is good enough to get outs even when he leaves it over the plate. It’s promising that he’s not afraid to challenge hitters with it, but I wonder if sometimes he’s a bit too casual with locating it in the zone. If he learns to bury each of his offerings down in the zone with more regularity, I think he could be a guy who strikes out 175+ batters annually.
I think Kenny made an OK trade. Quentin will be a free-agent after the 2012 season and the Sox wouldn’t re-sign. He was close to getting non-tendered last year. With this trade Kenny saved about $7 million, opened up a RF for Dayan Viciedo, and got an interesting guy in Simon Castro.
UPDATE: BaseballInstict on Simon Castro:
Simon Castro was one of San Diego’s top prospects at about this time last year. Castro pitched well enough in 2010 to appear in the Futures Game while pitching for San Antonio with a 2.92 ERA and 107 K in 130 Innings. This season he was disappointing in his stint at Double-A, 4.33 ERA 73 K, 95 hits in 89 innings and was awful at Triple-A, 10.17 ERA, 21 K, 37 hits in 26 innings. Pedro Hernandez, was 10-3 with a 3.49 ERA in 2011. The 23-year-old
lefty[righty] has a low to mid 90s fastball and a very good change-up.