Welington Castillo

Welington Castillo

37-Year-Old CatcherC
 Free Agent  
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Welington Castillo in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Nationals in December of 2020.
Opts for retirement
CWashington Nationals  
July 4, 2021
Castillo retired from professional baseball on Sunday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
Castillo last saw game action with Triple-A Rochester in mid-June, and he's opted to hang up his cleats. The 34-year-old played 10 years in the big leagues and had a .254/.313/.426 slash line with 98 homers in 726 games between the Cubs, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Mariners and Orioles.
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Before the 2019 season, Castillo was labeled by some as a potential value at a wasteland position. However, the 32-year-old hit just .209/.267/.417 in 72 games as he split time at catcher. Castillo struggled with plate discipline, recording a 29.5 K% with a 0.22 BB/K as his swinging-strike rate rose to 11.7%, his highest rate since 2011. Given Castillo's prolonged slump -- essentially extending over the past two seasons -- he's likely in line for a reduction in playing time in 2020, assuming he's able to find a big-league deal to begin with. Keep in mind Castillo allowed 30 stolen bases compared to only seven runners caught stealing in 2019. Not only does Castillo have playing-time question marks, his skills baseline has eroded. What we're left with is a low-end option, even in deep two-catcher leagues.
Castillo notched a .774 OPS and six home runs over his first 116 plate appearances last year before serving an 80-game PED suspension, and his return was delayed due to right shoulder inflammation. A quiet finish (.571 OPS in 16 games) might hide his ability to break out of an erratic mid-to-low-end catcher pool -- more like cesspool. Displaying weak plate discipline (career 6.8 BB%, 25.2 K%), he must rely on quality contact for high batting averages relative to the position. Castillo was a Statcast sleeper in 2017, with 43.7% of his batted balls being 95-plus mph. From 2014 to 2018, Beef Welington lived up to his nickname, ranking among the top 10 backstops with 72 homers, and he boasts a .304/.353/.518 slash with 15 homers against left-handers since the start of 2016. Even if shaky defense limits his playing time, the 32-year-old could turn a profit on a low-cost investment, especially if he can at least occasionally bat in the middle of the order.
At 30 years old, Castillo reached new full-season highs in home runs, batting average and slugging. He leaned on Camden Yards for 13 of his 20 homers and much of his offense overall (.387 wOBA at Oriole Park, compared to .297 elsewhere), but Castillo's hard-hit rate of 39.0 percent for the season was good for second among catchers with at least 350 plate appearances. In fact, Castillo holds the same rank in that category across the last three seasons, which explains his BABIPs of .337 and .336 in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Castillo could come close to a repeat with similar opportunity to last year's, which will likely be afforded to him after he signed with the White Sox. Plus, Chicago may bat him in the middle of the order as often as Baltimore did.
Castillo put together a solid if unspectacular season for the Diamondbacks in 2016. The 14 home runs were the second most in a season for his career, and the 68 RBI were a new career high. Fantasy owners were probably hoping for even more in the power department after Castillo blasted six home runs in April, but his pace cooled. Castillo will replace Matt Wieters behind the plate in Baltimore after signing with the Orioles. He may also see some designated hitter opportunities on days where Caleb Joseph takes over behind the plate.
Acquired via a June trade with Seattle, Castillo excelled in half a season with the Diamondbacks. The 28-year-old catcher slugged 17 home runs and compiled 50 RBI in 303 plate appearances over 80 games with Arizona. For the season, Castillo finished with a total of 19 home runs and 57 RBI, both career highs. Castillo posted an .813 OPS with the Diamondbacks, though his career mark of .730 suggests some regression might be coming in 2016. Still, Castillo should be an above-average fantasy catching option next year. He hit 13 home runs in 2014, suggesting he is a safe bet to hit double-digit homers going forward as long as he is starting four or five days per week. Manager Chip Hale said in December that Castillo has earned the starting catching job to begin the year based on his strong performance from 2015.
With just John Baker and Rafael Lopez behind him on the depth chart, Castillo didn't have to do much to earn the majority of innings at catcher in 2014. However, once his high BABIP came down to earth last year, his shortcomings came into focus. A 26:102 BB:K ratio was the worst of his short career, though he also had a career-best 13 home runs. If he remains with the Cubs, he'll fall into a backup role following the addition of Miguel Montero. If he gets a chance to start elsewhere, Castillo needs to develop a more patient eye at the plate, and avoid the injuries that have dogged him to this point in his career.
Despite a knee injury that prematurely ended his season and the surprising performance of Dioner Navarro, Castillo sits alone atop the Cubs' depth chart at catcher. Eight home runs and a .274 batting average give Castillo above-average fantasy value at a thin position, and his numbers in the minors indicate he can probably keep it up. As long as his recuperation from September knee surgery goes well, expect him behind the plate on Opening Day.
Castillo took over as the team's starting catcher after the Geovany Soto trade and did not disappoint, posting a .265/.337/.418 line in 170 at-bats as a 25-year-old. That followed up three straight .800-plus-OPS campaigns at Triple-A from 2010-2012. Castillo is also a solid defensive catcher, so he should get a shot to establish himself in 2013. Once the proven major league producers are off the board, Castillo is worth a look.
Known for his defense, Castillo put together a strong season at Triple-A, slashing .286/.351/.524 in 227 Triple-A at-bats. Keep in mind he did that as a 24-year-old, so he's not considered an upper-echelon prospect. Unless the team elects to move Geovany Soto - due a decent raise in arbitration - Castillo likely to fill a backup role at best. He's worth a look in two-catcher NL-only leagues, as he did show some signs of offensive life, unlike most backstops.
Castillo is a good defensive catcher with some pop in his bat, but lacks plate discipline and on-base skills. He played well in a brief September callup last year, and should compete for a job backing up Geovany Soto. That said, the team tendered Koyie Hill a contract in December, so Castillo could begin the year at Triple-A.
Castillo is a whiz with the glove and does have a little pop, but his plate discipline and on-base skills are lacking. He'll start the season at Triple-A and could eventually push Koyie Hill for the backup catcher job.
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Healthy at Triple-A
CWashington Nationals  
May 26, 2021
Castillo (shoulder) has appeared in five games this season for Triple-A Rochester, going 3-for-11 with seven walks and an RBI.
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Sent to minor-league camp
CWashington Nationals  
Shoulder
March 27, 2021
Castillo (shoulder) was assigned to minor-league camp Saturday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
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Sidelined with shoulder issue
CWashington Nationals  
Shoulder
March 10, 2021
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday that Castillo has been battling a shoulder injury since the start of camp, but the catcher has since been cleared to resume a throwing program, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
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Returns to Nationals
CWashington Nationals  
December 21, 2020
Castillo signed a one-year minor-league deal with the Nationals on Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
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Moves to restricted list
CWashington Nationals  
Opt Out
July 22, 2020
The Nationals placed Castillo (opt out) on the restricted list July 4.
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Not staying in Texas
CFree Agent  
October 31, 2019
Castillo, who was traded to the Rangers from the White Sox on Thursday, will not remain in Texas for long this winter, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Castillo is the proverbial ship passing through in the night, as the veteran catcher was simply a throw-in chip in a deal between the clubs that allowed the Rangers to boost their pool of international slot bonus money. A total of $250,000 in such funds accompanied Castillo in the deal, along with his $8 million team option for next season. The Rangers are fully expected to decline that provision and allow the 32-year-old to hit free agency, where he should draw some interest from teams seeking an experienced backstop with some pop in his bat.
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