Phillies 2024 Season Preview: UTIL Diego Castillo

It looks like the Phillies' newest position player will spend most of his season in Triple-A.
Philadelphia Phillies utility player Diego Castillo
Philadelphia Phillies utility player Diego Castillo / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The next entry in our Philadelphia Phillies 2024 Season Preview series is utility player Diego Castillo.

Previous season previews: José AlvaradoAndrew BellattiAlec BohmConnor BrogdonNick CastellanosRodolfo CastroKody ClemensJake CaveDylan CoveySeranthony DomínguezKolby AllardBryce HarperJeff HoffmanOrion Kerkering, Rafael Marchán, Brandon Marsh, Yunior Marte

We'll examine Castillo's 2023 season and then evaluate projections for the 2024 season using the Steamer and ZiPS projection systems, which can be found on FanGraphs.

Diego Castillo 2023 stats and 2024 projections

2023 Stats (AAA): 124 G, 556 PA, 3 HR, 72 RBI, 13 SB, 97 BB, .313/.431/.410, .840 OPS, 117 wRC+

2024 Steamer: 10 G, 40 PA, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 4 BB, .229/.309/.348, .657 OPS, 0.1 fWAR

2024 ZiPS DC: 3 G, 14 PA, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, .235/.309/.345, .654 OPS, 0.0 fWAR

Diego Castillo 2024 season preview

Diego Castillo, recently acquired off waivers from the New York Yankees, appears to be nothing more than an organizational depth piece for the Phillies in 2024. The 26-year-old has bounced around a few organizations over the last few seasons. He was dealt from the Yankees to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021 and has since spent time with the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets before ending up back with the Yankees this winter.

In 2023, Castillo spent most of his time with the Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. He slashed a healthy .313/.431/.410 in 556 plate appearances, although the caveat there is that the PCL is a hitter-friendly league.

He graduated with a plus hit tool, which carried him through the minors but hasn't translated to the majors. In his debut MLB season in 2022, Castillo slashed .206/.251/.382 with 11 home runs in 283 plate appearances with the Pirates.

Castillo projected to spend 2024 in Triple-A

This year, the native of Venezuela will spend most of his time in Triple-A Lehigh Valley as an insurance piece and will likely only see MLB action if the Phillies lose more than a couple of players to injury at the big league level.

Both Steamer and ZiPS DC don't expect Castillo to get much playing time with the Phillies but project similar slash lines for any action he sees. With a batting average predicted to sit around the .230 mark and an uninspiring OPS hovering around .650, the right-handed hitter won't make much of an impact if he does spend time with the big club.

One thing Castillo can provide the Phillies is positional flexibility. A middle infielder by trade, he has experience playing all over the diamond, including all four infield positions and both corner outfield spots. On FanGraphs' Phillies Depth Chart, Castillo appears at the very bottom of the left field and third base positions.

When he played with the Pirates in 2022, he saw his time split fairly evenly between second, short, and right field, but he also played a handful of games at first and third. Last year in Triple-A, he played half of his games in left and split the rest between second and short, with a few at third base.

We may forget about Castillo for most of the season, but you never know if he'll pop up for a week or so at some point.