Winter Leagues: Diego Castillo Makes His Debut

If you missed it from last night when our site returned with an updated look, we posted a Winter League recap from the few days we were offline. Today we look at the action from the last two nights, concentrating on a player making his winter debut on Tuesday night.

In Venezuela, Diego Castillo made his debut on Tuesday. He was scheduled to join his team on November 1st for the last few weeks. He played shortstop on Tuesday night and had a nice game at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk. He played right field on Wednesday night and had some issues in the field, committing two errors. He did okay at the plate, going 1-for-3 with a walk.

Ali Sanchez went 0-for-4 with an RBI on Wednesday, leaving him with a .200 average and a .554 OPS in the early stages of his winter.

In Mexico, Fabricio Macias went 2-for-4 with two runs and a double on Tuesday night. He went 0-for-4 with a run scored on Wednesday. He’s hitting .264 with a .682 OPS in 18 games.

Jared Oliva went 0-for-3 on Tuesday night. He is hitting .268 with a .617 OPS in 18 games.

The only action in the Dominican over the last two nights for the Pirates was Jeremy Beasley throwing a scoreless inning with three strikeouts on 15 pitches. He has allowed four runs in five innings this winter.

Within the last few days, it was still mentioned that Oneil Cruz was debuting on November 1st, but he has not reported yet. That’s been his reporting date for the last few weeks.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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The Pirates will grow and win if young players like Diego mature and refine their skills. A guy who can swing a bat like Castillo is very important to this organization.


Unfortunately, I don’t see a position for Diego, either short or long term. Plus, his bat is anemic. Outside of a semi-strong 2021, he has been a below average hitter throughout his MiLB career. This team needs guys that can actually hit AND get on base.


He’s got real power, he’s young and he’s on a bottom feeder. Over the next couple years he’ll get his chance to prove himself. I agree that he looks iffy but if an organization isn’t going to spend money, then guys like Castillo will get their chances..


I would stop giving opportunities to guys that can’t get on base, and he is one of them. He has really done nothing to separate himself from his competition. He is NOT an outfielder, which limits his defensive flexibility, and he is inferior to both Bae and Castro. There are better options currently available on the roster. At a minimum, he would need to demonstrate an ability to hit AAA pitching before any extended looks next year. He has failed to build upon his “break out” year, which tells me it prob wasn’t a break-out after all.


Like VanMeter, Marisnick, Tucker, Allen, M. Perez, Collins, Chang, Knapp and on and on

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