White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

May 17, 2012

Simon Castro struck out 8, walked 1 in 6 innings (May 16)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ May 17, 2012 12:00 am
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Montgomery @ Birmingham:

Birmingham Barons
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Simon Castro 6.0 8 5 4 1 8 0 3.88
Ryan Kussmaul 3.0 1 0 0 2 3 0 0.90
Leroy Hunt (L, 0-1) 1.0 4 3 3 1 0 0 10.13

Pitches-strikes: Castro, S 102-66, Kussmaul 41-26, Hunt 35-17.
Groundouts-flyouts: Castro, S 9-1, Kussmaul 3-2, Hunt 3-0.
Batters faced: Castro, S 28, Kussmaul 12, Hunt 8.

Castro has a 36 K / 10 BB ratio in 45.0 innings (7 games).

April 17, 2012

Simon Castro struck out 7, walked 1 tonight (April 17)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 17, 2012 10:00 pm
Tags: ,

Birmingham @ Chattanooga:

Barons
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Simon Castro (W, 1-1) 7.0 5 1 0 1 7 0 4.50
Brandon Kloess (H, 1) 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 4.05
Ryan Kussmaul (S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00

Castro has a 16 K / 5 BB ratio in 16.0 innings (3 games).

April 13, 2012

BaseballInstict looks at the minor leagues

Southern League:

Jared Mitchell, OF – The 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft had his career interrupted when he tore an ankle tendon in the spring of 2010. He wasn’t the same in 2011, however was very impressive in the winter instructional league and warranted a promotion to AA. He will be interesting to follow this season as he has tons of potential.

Carolina League:

Trayce Thompson, OF – The 2009 2nd round picked didn’t really impress in 2009 and 2010.  However, some of that changed after hitting 24 HRs in 2011.  His batting average as awful and his K rate was extremely high.  The 21-year-old remains a good talent and will get time to work out some mechanical issues in the Carolina League.

South Atlantic League

Kevan Smith, C - Mature college catcher with power to all fields. He has the bat but is still learning to be a professional catcher.

International League:

Jordan Danks, OF – Has some pop and speed.  He wasn’t much of a prospect and after 2 full seasons at AAA, the 25-year-old doesn’t figure to be a major league regular.  Still, he will have an opportunity to find himself on the bench as a 4th or 5th outfielder before the season is over.

February 9, 2012

MLB.com’s 2012 Top 20 White Sox Prospects

Jonathan Mayo:

1. Addison Reed, RHP (video)
2. Nestor Molina, RHP (video)
3. Trayce Thompson, OF (video)
4. Eduardo Escobar, SS (video)
5. Jacob Petricka, RHP (video)
6. Erik Johnson, RHP (video)
7. Keenyn Walker, OF (video)
8. Simon Castro, RHP (video)
9. Tyler Saladino, SS (video)
10. Jhan Marinez, RHP (video)
11. Marcus Semien, SS (video)
12. Nate Jones, RHP (video)
13. Hector Santiago, LHP (video)
14. Charlie Leesman, LHP (video)
15. Kevan Smith, C (video)
16. Andy Wilkins, 1B (video)
17. Michael Blanke, C (video)
18. Scott Snodgress, LHP (video)
19. Jose Quintana, LHP (video)
20. Josh Phegley, C (video)

No Dylan Axelrod, Jared Mitchell, Andre Rienzo, Gregory Infante, Jeff Soptic, Rangel Ravelo on the list.

January 27, 2012

FutureSox’s 2012 Preseason Top 25 White Sox Prospects

Matt Cassidy:

1. Nestor Molina, RHP     [NEW]
2. Addison Reed, RHP     [Previous Rank: 2nd, no change]
3. Simon Castro, RHP     [NEW]
4. Tyler Saladino, SS     [Previous: 9th, +5]
5. Trayce Thompson, OF     [Previous: 3rd, -2]
6. Jacob Petricka, RHP     [Previous: 4th, -2]
7. Hector Santiago, LHP     [Previous: 16th, +9]
8. Keenyn Walker, OF     [Previous: 7th, -1]
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS     [Previous: 6th, -3]
10. Dylan Axelrod, RHP     [Previous: 19th, +9]
11. Jared Mitchell, OF     [Previous: 5th, -6]
12. Andre Rienzo, RHP     [Previous: 11th, -1]
13. Jhan Marinez, RHP     [NEW]
14. Gregory Infante, RHP     [Previous: 14th, no change]
15. Erik Johnson, RHP     [Previous: 17th, +2]
16. Charlie Leesman, LHP     [Previous: 15th, -1]
17. Pedro Hernandez, LHP     [NEW]
18. Andy Wilkins, 1B     [Previous: 13th, -5]
19. Scott Snodgress, LHP     [Previous: UNR]
20. Brandon Short, OF     [Previous: 12th, -8]
21. Jeff Soptic, RHP     [Previous: UNR]
22. Kevan Smith, C     [Previous: 24th, +2]
23. Ozzie Martinez, SS/2B     [NEW]
24. Ryan Buch, RHP     [Previous: 18th, -6]
25. Michael Blanke, C     [Previous: 32nd*, +7]

January 20, 2012

John Sickels updates his ‘Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012′ list

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2012 7:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

John Sickels updated his ‘Top 20 White Sox prospects for 2012′ list. #1 and #2 were interchanged and Simon Castro was added at #4:

1) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B+: The best closer prospect in baseball thanks to superior command of 93-97 MPH fastball and devastating slider. One of my favorite prospects.

2) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago’s first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter. Molina was a big topic of discussion earlier this winter. I like him a lot.

4) Simon Castro, RHP, Grade C+: Acquired from the Padres for Carlos Quentin. Live fastball, but secondary pitches went backwards last year and will need to rebound if he wants to stay a starter. The change of scenery could help him.

…We’ll start with the good stuff first. Both Nestor Molina and Addison Reed are personal favorites. I originally had Molina one spot ahead because I think he can start. Of course, I think Reed could probably start too, but given how well he pitched last year I can understand their desire to keep him in the bullpen. He should be ready to close sometime in 2012, perhaps out of spring training. I went back and forth on this but in the end I ranked Reed slightly ahead.

BTW, here’s the original list:

1) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago’s first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter. Molina was a big topic of discussion earlier this month.

2) Addison Reed, RHP, Grade B+: The best closer prospect in baseball thanks to superior command of 93-97 MPH fastball and devastating slider. You can make a case to rank him ahead of Molina, if you think Molina will be a reliever.

3) Tyler Saladino, SS, Grade C+: 2010 seventh round pick out of Oral Roberts developed from draft sleeper into solid prospect. Good power for a middle infielder, and has some idea about the strike zone, scouts like his work ethic. Main issue now is if he can stick at shortstop, and I think he has a decent chance to do so.

4) Trayce Thompson, OF, Grade C+: Highest-ceiling bat in system, tapping into his power now and making good progress on defense. Kills lefties but has serious contact problems against right-handed pitching. Struck out 172 times while repeating Low-A. Has the tools to be a star slugger but also carries a high risk of failure.

5) Hector Santiago, LHP, Grade C+: Came out of nowhere to reach the majors (briefly) in 2011 thanks to development of a new screwball to go with 90-95 MPH fastball. Third pitch still needs work and it is unclear if he starts or relieves in the long run, although recent rumors indicate the Sox will continue to start him. Projects as number three/four starter if third pitch develops, or a power relief arm.

Hopefully Coop will help Castro with his secondary pitches in Spring Training.

January 16, 2012

Kevin Goldstein’s 2012 Top 11 White Sox prospects

Kevin Goldstein @ BP:

System in 20 Words or Less: Two words: Not good.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Addison Reed, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
2. Nestor Molina, RHP
3. Trayce Thompson, OF
4. Jake Petricka, RHP
5. Simon Castro, RHP
6. Keenyn Walker, OF
Two-Star Prospects
7. Eduardo Escobar, SS
8. Jhan Marinez, RHP
9. Myles Jaye, RHP
10. Tyler Saladino, SS
11. Andre Rienzo, RHP

Goldstein has 9 more Sox prospects (Juan Silverio, 3B; Jared Mitchell, OF; Brandon Short, OF; Pedro Hernandez, LHP; Gregory Infante, RHP; Erik Johnson, RHP; Michael Blanke, C; Dylan Axelrod, RHP; Osvaldo Martinez, SS) more and his scouting report on Addison Reed at the link.

January 11, 2012

Baseball Instict’s Simon Castro scouting report

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 11, 2012 10:00 pm
Tags: ,

David Reiffer:

Four-Seam Fastball– Castro fires a low-to-mid-90s four-seamer from a low 3/4 arm slot. The offering features good movement away from left-handed hitters and is a plus pitch.

Slider – The slider is above average at times with sharp late downward movement. Castro lives on the heater/slider combo.

Change-up – The change needs work and, according to reports, needs refining due to a hesitation in his delivery that may tip-off more advanced hitting.

Two-Seam Fastball – Scouts report that this pitch has some movement too but not as much as the four-seamer and with less downward movement. Tops out in the low-90s.

Reiffer says if Don Cooper can straighten out Castro’s command problems, Castro can become a member of the starting rotation.

Baseball America’s Top 10 White Sox prospects for 2012

Phil Rogers:

1. Addison Reed, rhp
2. Nestor Molina, rhp
3. Simon Castro, rhp
4. Trayce Thompson, of
5. Jake Petricka, rhp
6. Keenyn Walker, of
7. Jhan Marinez, rhp
8. Tyler Saladino, ss
9. Juan Silverio, 3b
10. Ozzie Martinez, ss

January 2, 2012

BaseballInstinct looks at Sox prospect RHP Jacob Petricka

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 2, 2012 1:00 pm
Tags: ,

BaseballInstinct:

313°. Jacob Petricka, RHP, White Sox, 6/5/1988 – A big 6’5″ righty, Petricka flashes triple digits and has one plus offering in that 4-seam FB. He’s only 170 lbs., so concern over him holding up over 200 innings seasons is certainly apparent. He moved over 3 levels in 2011, dominating over 9 starts between the Sally and Appy before hitting a wall in High-A Carolina. His K rate dropped to just 15.2% over 67.2 IP and he walked 26 in that same span. He’s still refining a slider and his CU lags behind. We’ll see how he fares in High-A when he’s able to go back to his FB more often. Profiles better as a RP. ETA 2013.

Stats:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2010 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A CHW 2 5 .286 3.05 17 8 1 0 0 0 44.1 38 23 15 1 15 0 48 3 1 8 191 1.195 7.7 0.2 3.0 9.7 3.20
2010 22 Bristol APPY Rk CHW 2 4 .333 2.86 8 8 0 0 0 0 34.2 25 12 11 1 7 0 38 2 1 4 136 0.923 6.5 0.3 1.8 9.9 5.43
2010 22 Kannapolis SALL A CHW 0 1 .000 3.72 9 0 1 0 0 0 9.2 13 11 4 0 8 0 10 1 0 4 55 2.172 12.1 0.0 7.4 9.3 1.25
2011 23 3 Teams 3 Lgs A+-A-Rk CHW 7 8 .467 3.65 23 22 0 0 0 0 113.1 114 53 46 3 39 0 99 3 0 9 486 1.350 9.1 0.2 3.1 7.9 2.54
2011 23 Bristol APPY Rk CHW 0 0 0.00 2 1 0 0 0 0 4.0 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 14 1.000 9.0 0.0 0.0 11.2
2011 23 Kannapolis SALL A CHW 3 1 .750 2.81 8 8 0 0 0 0 41.2 39 14 13 0 13 0 48 0 0 4 169 1.248 8.4 0.0 2.8 10.4 3.69
2011 23 Winston-Salem CARL A+ CHW 4 7 .364 4.39 13 13 0 0 0 0 67.2 71 39 33 3 26 0 46 3 0 5 303 1.433 9.4 0.4 3.5 6.1 1.77
2 Seasons 9 13 .409 3.48 40 30 1 0 0 0 157.2 152 76 61 4 54 0 147 6 1 17 677 1.307 8.7 0.2 3.1 8.4 2.72
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 1/2/2012.

And an update on Simon Castro from BaseballInstict:

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.

January 1, 2012

Will the Sox go after Yoennis Cespedes?

Bruce Levine:

After trading both Carlos Quentin and Sergio Santos, the Chicago White Sox have cleared some payroll, upwards of $10 million off their 2012 salary base. That money may be used to bid on 26-year-old Cespedes or 19-year-old Jorge Soler, also a multi-talented Cuban defector, but White Sox general manager Kenny Williams was reluctant to say how far in the White Sox are in relationship to the Cuban free agents.

Scott Merkin:

“What I will say is that there are some doors now open for us that were not open just yesterday because of savings of dollars,” Williams said. “But which direction we are heading with that, it would be counterproductive in getting something done to say we are deciding to go down that road. So we can take some of that little bit of payroll we cleared and invest it in something that helps the Major League club now, or something that helps on the horizon with another prospect. We could end up making this a 3-for-1 deal instead of a 2-for-1, albeit with two guys we really like.”

Well, with teams like the Yankee$, the Red Sox, the new Marlins, and the Cubs involved I think we can be pretty sure the Sox won’t land Cespedes. Kenny will only kick the tires. Probably…

Other White Sox links:

Happy new year folks!

December 31, 2011

White Sox trade OF Carlos Quentin to San Diego for RHSP Simon Castro and LHRP Pedro Hernandez

whitesox.com press release:

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:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2006 18 Padres DOSL FRk SDP 1 3 .250 4.63 12 12 0 0 0 0 46.2 40 33 24 2 21 58 12 4 9 218 1.307 7.7 0.4 4.0 11.2 2.76
2007 19 Padres ARIZ Rk SDP 2 6 .250 6.22 14 12 0 0 0 0 50.2 61 48 35 4 30 0 55 9 0 12 249 1.796 10.8 0.7 5.3 9.8 1.83
2008 20 Eugene NORW A- SDP 2 3 .400 3.99 15 15 0 0 0 0 65.1 54 35 29 3 29 0 64 14 0 8 289 1.270 7.4 0.4 4.0 8.8 2.21
2009 21 Fort Wayne MIDW A SDP 10 6 .625 3.33 28 27 0 1 1 0 140.1 118 61 52 9 37 0 157 10 3 15 574 1.105 7.6 0.6 2.4 10.1 4.24
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
2010 22 San Antonio TL AA SDP 7 6 .538 2.92 24 23 0 0 0 0 129.2 107 55 42 8 36 1 107 6 3 2 529 1.103 7.4 0.6 2.5 7.4 2.97
2010 22 Portland PCL AAA SDP 0 1 .000 7.84 2 2 0 0 0 0 10.1 16 10 9 1 6 0 6 0 0 0 54 2.129 13.9 0.9 5.2 5.2 1.00
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
2011 23 San Antonio TL AA SDP 5 6 .455 4.33 16 16 0 0 0 0 89.1 95 48 43 9 16 0 73 6 1 3 375 1.243 9.6 0.9 1.6 7.4 4.56
2011 23 Tucson PCL AAA SDP 2 2 .500 10.17 6 6 0 0 0 0 25.2 37 30 29 5 18 0 21 0 1 6 130 2.143 13.0 1.8 6.3 7.4 1.17
6 Seasons 29 33 .468 4.24 117 113 0 1 1 0 558.0 528 320 263 41 193 1 541 57 12 55 2418 1.292 8.5 0.7 3.1 8.7 2.80
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
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 12/31/2011.

Pedro Hernandez’ stats:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2007 18 Padres DOSL FRk SDP 0 1 .000 2.02 9 0 2 0 0 1 13.1 12 6 3 1 4 13 2 1 0 56 1.200 8.1 0.7 2.7 8.8 3.25
2008 19 Padres DOSL FRk SDP 7 2 .778 1.42 14 8 4 0 0 0 63.1 50 21 10 2 6 0 74 2 0 2 248 0.884 7.1 0.3 0.9 10.5 12.33
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
2009 20 Padres ARIZ Rk SDP 4 0 1.000 3.78 7 5 0 0 0 0 33.1 33 15 14 2 4 0 31 1 2 1 134 1.110 8.9 0.5 1.1 8.4 7.75
2009 20 Eugene NORW A- SDP 0 2 .000 9.92 6 4 0 0 0 0 16.1 31 21 18 4 4 0 15 2 2 3 85 2.143 17.1 2.2 2.2 8.3 3.75
2010 21 Fort Wayne MIDW A SDP 4 3 .571 4.04 29 13 3 0 0 0 100.1 122 62 45 6 17 0 79 7 1 2 445 1.385 10.9 0.5 1.5 7.1 4.65
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
2011 22 Lake Elsinore CALL A+ SDP 5 0 1.000 2.70 15 6 2 0 0 0 56.2 52 19 17 3 6 2 44 0 0 0 226 1.024 8.3 0.5 1.0 7.0 7.33
2011 22 San Antonio TL AA SDP 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
2011 22 Tucson PCL AAA SDP 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
5 Seasons 25 11 .694 3.55 93 48 11 0 0 1 342.2 367 178 135 25 57 2 306 14 6 8 1450 1.237 9.6 0.7 1.5 8.0 5.37
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
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 12/31/2011.

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.

More Kenny Williams:

“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.”

Here’s audio of Kenny Williams’ comments (2:20).

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.

but disappointed in August:

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.

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