Possibly the top catcher off the board in July, Adrian Del Castillo brings a solid left-handed bat to the draft. There are questions about him sticking behind the plate, but we will get into that and much more in his draft profile.
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Adrian Del Castillo, Catcher, Miami University
Weight: 210 lbs.
2019: 61 G – .331/.418/.576, 12 HRs, 72 RBI, 32/24 BB/K rate
2020: 16 G – .358/.478/.547, 2 HRs, 15 RBI, 11/8 BB/K rate
2021: 39 G – .293/.393/.442, 3 HRs, 28 RBI, 20/20 BB/K rate
Adrian Del Castillo was originally selected in the 36th round of the 2018 draft by the Chicago White Sox. He chose to stay in Miami and honor his commitment to the Hurricanes. Since then Del Castillo has become one of the top bats in the country. MLB.com has him ranked 13th overall and Prospects Live has him at 7th.
Del Castillo has an excellent approach at the plate. He doesn’t try to do too much and is able to drive the ball all over the field. The 21-year-old stays compact with his swing and his setup is very quiet. His bat path is direct to the ball and he has very quick wrists and a short follow-through which keeps the barrel close to his body. Since there aren’t a ton of moving parts, Del Castillo maintains his mechanics easily.
The Hurricanes’ catcher pairs his quick line drive approach with an excellent eye. In three years at Miami University, he’s played 116 games and has an impressive 63/52 BB/K rate in 522 plate appearances. Del Castillo barrels the ball well with 35 doubles in his time in college, and he’s chipped in 17 home runs. His top-notch pitch recognition helps him tremendously at the plate as he is able to adjust quickly and rarely gets fooled.
While his bat-to-ball skills are undeniable, Del Castillo doesn’t have a ton of loft to his swing. Primarily a contact hitter with strength, the college junior profiles to be smoking line drives in the gaps rather than swatting moonshots. He does have the potential for 20 HRs at the big league level if he can increase his launch angle and pull the ball more consistently.
On defense is where the true question marks lie. Will he stick behind the plate? Scouts are torn. He only became a full-time catcher with the Hurricanes this season but has shown improvement. His arm is not very strong but his accuracy and transfer are trending toward above-average. Last summer after the shutdown, Del Castillo had a chance to work with Salvador Perez and Jorge Alfaro while catching pitchers like Raisel Iglesias who came through the workout facility in Pinecrest, FL. Miami’s catcher has also improved his blocking ability and improved his quickness from side to side.
Pro Comparison: Kyle Schwarber
There are many similarities here as both are left-handed hitting catchers who also played the outfield. Both had excellent pitch recognition and walked more than they struck out in college. Schwarber has more pop and even at Indiana University, had more lift to his swing with pull tendencies. Del Castillo profiles as more of a contact hitter at the next level and while his ceiling on HRs is capped unless he overhauls his swing, he has one of the safest floors in the draft. Schwarber didn’t stick behind the plate and Del Castillo, while improved, may not either.
Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 16, Miami Marlins
The Marlins keep the Miami kid at home. Del Castillo worked with Alfaro last summer. The former Hurricane can work on his game in the minors as Alfaro is not a free agent until after the 2023 season. The Marlins’ minor league system is filled with pitchers and outfielders. They need a left-handed bat who can play behind the plate or even make the transition to a corner infield spot.
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