Jason Castro
Jason Castro
31-Year-Old CatcherC
Minnesota Twins
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Castro played just 19 games last season after requiring season-ending surgery in May to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. When healthy, he provides strong defense behind the plate, pitch framing skills that help the staff, some power at the dish (.146 ISO in 2017) and decent on-base ability (.333 OBP). Castro draws walks at a good clip (11.1% in 2017) and had hit 10 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons before last year. However, it's not a guarantee he returns to his previous form since he tore the same meniscus and also recovered from an ACL tear earlier in his career. He should face increased competition for playing time with Mitch Garver and Willians Astudillo showing promise in his absence. Given his contract (due $8 million this year, free agent in 2020), Castro may enter camp as the favorite, but it should be a fluid depth chart, with the younger options likely displacing the veteran at some point. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $24.5 million contract with the Twins in November of 2016.
Looks set as starting catcher
CMinnesota Twins
March 18, 2019
Castro started at catcher and batted eighth in Monday's spring training win over Boston in what was likely a dress rehearsal of the Opening Day lineup, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Castro is hitting just .217 (5-for-23) this spring, but more importantly he's looked fully healthy after season-ending knee surgery last May. He's set to be the starting catcher, but will likely platoon with Mitch Garver.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .608 209 20 4 24 0 .203 .287 .321
Since 2016vs Right .710 648 74 18 58 2 .225 .324 .387
2018vs Left .375 8 1 0 0 0 .000 .375 .000
2018vs Right .501 66 3 1 3 0 .155 .242 .259
2017vs Left .737 104 12 3 17 0 .263 .327 .411
2017vs Right .714 303 37 7 30 0 .234 .334 .379
2016vs Left .478 97 7 1 7 0 .149 .237 .241
2016vs Right .757 279 34 10 25 2 .231 .331 .426
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .667 422 41 11 38 1 .218 .301 .366
Since 2016Away .703 435 53 11 44 1 .221 .328 .375
2018Home .581 36 2 0 1 0 .212 .278 .303
2018Away .404 38 2 1 2 0 .067 .237 .167
2017Home .717 206 25 6 25 0 .238 .330 .387
2017Away .724 201 24 4 22 0 .246 .335 .389
2016Home .628 180 14 5 12 1 .196 .272 .356
2016Away .736 196 27 6 20 1 .223 .338 .398
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Stat Review
How does Jason Castro compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Castro stabilized Minnesota's catching position last season as the Twins got exactly what they expected in the first year of his three-year, $24.5 million contract. He provided strong defense behind the plate, pitch framing skills that helped the staff, some power at the plate (.146 ISO) and decent on-base ability (.333 OBP). Castro draws walks at a good clip (11.1 percent) and has hit 10 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons. His .720 OPS ranked 23rd out of 33 big-league catchers with 300 or more plate appearances (11th out of 15 in the AL). That makes him relevant in AL-only leagues and two-catcher mixers, but he should be an afterthought in one-catcher mixed leagues. Mitch Garver, a catching prospect who turned 27 in January, may have slightly more offensive upside, but Castro has the clear edge on defense, so he should continue to get the bulk of playing time for the Twins behind the plate.
Best known for his receiving skills, Castro failed to hit above .225 or break 15 home runs for the third straight year, although he saw plenty of at-bats as Houston's primary catcher over that span. Castro has been a particular liability in leagues that penalize strikeouts, as he's whiffed at an increasing rate each of the past three years, topping out at a whopping 33 percent in 2016. Castro hit particularly poorly against left-handed pitching ( .149/.237/.241). A former top-10 pick, Castro was once a promising power hitter who hit 18 homers and slugged .485 in 2013 so he still has some upside. His offensive numbers have been on the decline ever since, but his defensive skills and pitch-framing ability are seen as elite. He'll be the primary catcher for the Twins after signing a three-year, $24 million contract.
Thumbing his nose at a history of chronic right knee issues, Castro remained healthy in 2015, but he was limited to just 104 games for the Astros due to his offensive struggles. The 28-year-old hit a mere .211/.283/.365 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI over 337 at-bats. He struck out at a career-worst 30.7 percent clip, but his strong defense behind the plate and relationship with the pitching staff earned him the lion's share of the playing time over No. 2 catcher Hank Conger. A finalist for the AL Gold Glove award last season, Castro is likely to open 2016 as Houston's starting catcher with Conger dealt to Tampa Bay in the offseason, and he has every incentive in the world to pick it up offensively with free agency looming in the winter.
Drafted as a consensus top-12 catcher, Castro hit a disappointing .222/.286/.366 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI to finish 2014 ranked 21st at the position. That made him a starter in most two-catcher leagues, but Castro's modest power (.156 career ISO), weak on-base skills (.316 OBP) and struggles against lefties (.201 BAA) make him a fringe option even in those formats. Perhaps the only impressive detail about his 2014 campaign was the fact he avoided the disabled list, but chronic right knee issues plagued him in every season prior and he continues to play the most physically demanding position on the field. The offseason acquisition of Hank Conger from the Angels puts Castro's long-term future with the Astros in doubt, but he'll likely compete with Conger in an ongoing battle for playing time if the duo remains intact through the end of spring training.
In 2013, Castro finally had the coming out party that many were expecting earlier in his career. Not only did he stay relatively healthy, appearing in a career-high 120 games before a cyst in his right knee forced him to miss most of September, he earned All-Star Game honors and won the American League Player of the Week award twice. Backed by a .276/.350/.485 slash line with 18 home runs and 56 RBI, Castro was one of the better offensive catchers in fantasy, especially since the Astros used him as a middle-of-the-order bat in their rebuilding lineup. The 26-year-old is expected to be ready for spring training and build off his success from last season.
Last season was supposed to be Castro's coming out party. Instead, it was another cautionary tale about lofty projections for catching prospects, as the oft-injured Castro put up some pretty pedestrian offensive numbers. Though he may never hit the way he was projected to coming out of college, he may be able to evolve into the sort of player that can put up a league average batting average with a solid on-base percentage and 10-15 home runs. Castro is only 25 and has just 452 major league at-bats to his name, so there is reason to hope a breakout is still looming. The Astros, however, would be wise to ensure whoever they sign as Castro's backup is competent enough to step in as the starter if things for Castro go from bad to worse.
Just when it finally looked like Castro was going to get that chance to prove himself as a starter, he tore his ACL. As it stands now, he is just a .205 career hitter without speed or power. A brief stint in the Arizona Fall League showed useful on-base skills, but minimal pop in a hitter-friendly environment. To make matters worse, he suffered a foot injury in his final AFL game and will be sidelined until mid-March. He still could turn into a solid everyday catcher, but it no longer looks like the former first-round pick will become a star.
For the better part of the last decade, the Astros have lacked a strong offensive catcher, a problem they hoped to solve when they made Castro the 10th overall pick in 2008. Castro's bat has been decent, but he still has some work to do defensively, something he could perhaps learn on the job from Humberto Quintero's "veteran presence." He'll only be 23 in 2011, so there's time for him to develop, but a slow start could mean he's doing that developing in Triple-A.
Castro held his own splitting time between High-A and Double-A, hitting .300 and playing solid defense. A three-run homer for Team USA in the Futures Game put an exclamation point on a "coming of age" season for the young catcher. He, and not J.R. Towles, is increasingly being looked to as the Astros' catcher of the future. Castro might see some time in Houston in 2010, but if the Astros were smart, they'd let him spend the bulk of the season developing in Triple-A. He's just 22, and there's no sense in rushing him.
The Astros made Castro, a catcher from Stanford, the 10th overall pick in last June’s amateur draft. He hit .376/.429/.613 in his final year with the Cardinal, with 14 homers, 18 doubles, 73 RBI and 68 runs. Castro quickly reached an agreement with the Astros and played with Tri-City in the short-season New York-Penn League where he hit .275/.383/.384 with two homers, nine doubles and 12 RBI in 138 at-bats. He’s just 21 years old and currently projects as Houston's catcher of the future. He will likely begin the year at High-A Salem or Double-A Corpus Christi in 2009.
More Fantasy News
Gets first start behind plate
CMinnesota Twins
February 25, 2019
Castro (knee) started at catcher and went 1-for-1 with a walk in Monday's spring training win over Baltimore. "I'm going to basically probably have to calm him down at times because he feels ready," manager Rocco Baldelli told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
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Ready to go for spring training
CMinnesota Twins
January 9, 2019
Castro (knee) has made a full recovery from mid-May surgery to repair a torn meniscus and isn't expected to face any limitations when catchers report to spring training Feb. 13, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
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Expects normal offseason
CMinnesota Twins
June 11, 2018
Castro anticipates that he'll have a normal offseason workout program after undergoing surgery May 15 to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
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Transferred to 60-day DL
CMinnesota Twins
June 7, 2018
Castro (knee) was moved to the 60-day disabled list Thursday, Brandon Warne of Zone Coverage reports.
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Will miss rest of season
CMinnesota Twins
May 16, 2018
Castro (knee) will be out for the rest of the 2018 season following Wednesday's surgery to repair his torn meniscus, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.
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