UPDATE (3:05): Added video on both pitchers (h/t Cubs ML) plus some scouting reports from Diamondback’s International Scouting Director Carlos Gomez…
Jed Hoyer said that the 17 year old RHPs, both signed out of Venezuela, project as MLB’ers.
Leal has good size at 6’3″, 180 lbs. Although caveats about DSL stats apply, he went an impressive 6-2 with a 2.44 ERA, striking out 70 batters in 70 innings while walking just 11.
Leal is likely to pitch for the Cubs rookie-level complex in AZ, though he will get a chance to prove those numbers are real and he’s ready for Boise.
According to Ben Badler, Leal already throws 87-90 with good sink and a nice delivery. He considers him a “legit prospect”.
From an article by Nick Piecoro from AZcentral.com, here’s a report/video from Diamondbacks International Scouting Director Carlos Gomez,
“He’s 6-3, 180 pounds. He has a nice delivery, a nice arm action, and the highlight again is the breaking ball. He’s a kid who can spin it. It’s 74-76 mph already and his fastball is 86-88. He has the physical size, the delivery, a breaking ball and a present, useable fastball for his age. He’s one of those guys who looks like he might have slipped through the cracks. A lot of that same type of guy was going for more earlier in the year. His delivery is pretty balanced, but he drives pretty aggressively out front; he really gets over his front side well. You can tell the extra breaking ball spin he gets is a function of his finish.”
Here’s video on Leal…
Castillo may be the real prize, however.
Castillo signed last year for $250,000. He is 6’2″ and just 165 lbs He was one of the youngest in the league and pitched most of last year as a 16 year old, so we have to assume there’s some projectability there to fill out that frame. He went 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA. He struck out 41 batters in 45.2 IP while walking 17.
Castillo is athletic (he used to also play soccer), has a good delivery, a long stride and gets out front well. When he signed, Castillo was throwing in the mid-80s with a loose arm and projection, and now he sits around 88-90 mph. His arm action can get long, but with his looseness and projection, his fastball should be at least a plus pitch and eventually reach the mid-90s. He has an advanced changeup for his age and it’s his No. 2 pitch right now ahead of his breaking ball.
Castillo has the tools to come on quickly and projects for more once he matures physically. He will likely either go to AZ or repeat the DSL, but may move quickly.
Here’s the scouting report from Gomez on Castillo…
“He’s about 6-2, 165, 170 pounds. He’s long, lean and all kinds of projectable. He has a loose, cool rhythm about him, really free and easy. His fastball ranges from 82-89 mph, but he pitches 85-86 right now. I think he has a chance to throw a lot harder. His best secondary pitch is his changeup and the breaking ball isn’t bad. The spin is there, but it needs work and consistency. He gets really good extension, almost jumps off the mound. We think he can start; we see starter’s arm action and delivery from him.”
And here’s video on Castillo…
All in all, the Cubs traded Campana, a player who just didn’t fit into the Cubs long or short term plans, for a couple of high risk, but high reward prospects.
I wish Campana well in Arizona. For the Tony Campana fans out there, I’ll end this with a positive piece by Dave Cameron on Fangraphs on how Campana and other top base stealers can help teams.