Catcher Adrian Del Castillo
Gabriel Moreno secured a firm grasp on the catching spot long-term for the Diamondbacks after his strong 2023 season and even better Postseason. But because he asserted himself as the Snakes’ catcher for years to come, he made nearly all the other catchers who have played at least one full season expendable.
The D-Backs’ 2021 second-round pick, Adrian Del Castillo, is one of those players. Castillo started the year at Double-A, where he hit. 273/.385/.505 with a wOBA approaching .400 at .397, and wRC+ clocking in at 134. Del Castillo had a poor 25.3% strikeout rate but an outstanding 15.1% walk rate. He also hit for plus power, going yard a dozen times in just 265 plate appearances and owning a .232 isolated slugging percentage.
Del Castillo was then promoted to Triple-A but struggled to the tune of a .248/.350/.350 triple-slash. While he still walked at a healthy 12.6% rate, his issues with strikeouts became even more apparent with a 28.9% K-rate. He also hit for far less power, as his isolated slugging dropped to just .102, and hit two home runs in 159 plate appearances. It was made all the worse when you consider he played in the PCL, where the league average OPS was .822.
There were some reasonable concerns about his catching ability heading into the season, but he’s made some real strides. According to FanGraphs, his pop-time is down to about 1.95-2.0 seconds, but he still has trouble blocking balls to his right. He is more of a bat-first catching prospect with a good hit tool, but fringe-average at best power.
While Castillo isn’t the most valuable player on today’s list, he certainly could be a secondary piece of a larger trade. He has the potential to be a semi-regular if he can get his strikeouts under wraps. Any catcher with solid defensive chops will always get a look, but if Castillo’s bat can come around, he could get a longer look.