Phillies rumors: Team favorite to land No. 8 international prospect

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Carlos Santana #41 of the Philadelphia Phillies talks to General Manager Matt Klentak prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park on April 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Carlos Santana #41 of the Philadelphia Phillies talks to General Manager Matt Klentak prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park on April 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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MLB.com released their Top 30 international prospects list, and the Phillies are the favorites to land the No. 8 prospect on the list.

With July 2 just a few months away, MLB.com released their Top 30 international prospect list earlier this week. The Phillies are considered the favorites to land the Dominican right-handed pitcher Starlyn Castillo. Baseball America reports that his bonus is expected to be around $1.5 million.

Castillo ranks eighth overall on the list. He the top Dominican pitching prospect per MLB.com and second-best pitcher on the list. He is second only to Richard Gallardo, a Venezuelan righty who is expected to be signed by the Cubs.

Castillo’s fastball makes him such a lucrative prospect. It has hit 97 miles per hour and sits between 93-96. Like many 16-year-old pitchers with a lively fastball, he struggles to control it at times. It often winds up running up into the zone.

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Castillo already is quite large at six feet tall and 210 pounds. Most pitching prospects are long and lanky, which leads to some projection on their fastball velocity. However, with Castillo already in the mid-90s, that isn’t as much of a concern.

Castillo also possesses a changeup and slider, but both lag behind his fastball. MLB.com rates them at 50 and 55 out of 80, respectively. He still needs to work on mixing all three pitches together.

While on the mound, Castillo apparently is known for his competitiveness and “extreme” confidence. His profile makes sure to point out that he still needs to learn how to channel his emotions on the mound, saying that he will learn to do so once signed by an organization.

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At such a young age, it’s so hard to project a major-league future role for Castillo. His fastball alone gives him plenty of potential, but the other areas of his game need work. He won’t sniff the majors for at least five or six years, but this a team that knows how to develop international pitching prospects.

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