The Phillies are making major moves with international free agents
When the Major League Baseball International signing period opens up on July 2, the Phillies are expected to sign deals with multiple prospects. One of those young players is a 15-year-old pitcher who has been tracked at 97 mph.
Starlyn Castillo will reportedly sign a deal worth $1.6 million according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Here’s some video of Castillo on the mound consistently clocking in the mid to upper nineties.
According to Salisbury, the team will also sign additional international free agents from Latin America: RHP Fernando Ortega from the Dominican Republic, LHP Andrick Nava from Venezuela, and INF Alexeis Azuaje from Venezuela.
Here’s Ortega hitting the upper 80’s on a consistent basis:
Nava is a switch-hitting catcher who works with a front toe tap and looks like a pull hitter in this video below. His arm behind the plate will also need work, but that’s expected from a teenager.
Alexeis Azuaje is a speedy shortstop with a monster leg kick and a decent swing from the right side.
Many of these players are at a bare-bones minimum five years from touching a big league field, and we may never hear from them again. Realistically, it could be 10 years before their name is ever called again by casual fans as they work their way up through the Latin and minor league systems.
Props to the Phillies front office for getting deals done, especially with Castillo if he is the top Dominican pitching prospect this year. Hopefully he’s no Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez coming out of Cuba with big projections and nothing to show for it.