Monday, June 29, 2009

Jason Castro on the fast-track

Article from a couple of days ago from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times' reporter Greg Rajan (who is quickly becoming one of my favorites) on Hooks catcher Jason Castro.

The jump from A-ball to AA is widely considered the toughest jump in the minor leagues. In his first 15 games with the Hooks, Castro seems to have made the transition. Entering Saturday’s game at Frisco, he had a .298 batting average with 1 home run and 4 runs batted in.

Castro:
“It’s all happened real fast. I’ve been thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given. It’s been exciting and I’m looking forward to what’s to come, and the second half here in Corpus Christi. When I first got here, I didn’t really know what to expect. After the first few games I played, I quickly recognized the jump in competition was definitely there. I’ve settled in and gotten more comfortable. I’d say (the biggest difference is) the speed of the game. The quality of pitching you see as a hitter is definitely better. And on the catching side, you’ve got to be a little smarter. The hitters are better, and they’ll punish you for it. You definitely have to be on top of your game at all times.”

Hooks Manager Luis Pujols:
“I think he’s holding his own and doing pretty well. I have worked with him on a couple of things, little details where the higher he goes, people will be looking more at it. I want him to be sure this is the right place to start learning those things, stuff like pitch selection, receiving and blocking.”

Untitled AL Scout:
(He) is going to be a fast-track guy who’ll be in the big leagues for a long time.”

Astros special adviser Matt Galante:
“Once we evaluate what we have, we’re going to get those guys here quicker because this is the level that separates the men from the boys. He didn’t look out of place in big-league camp. Not that he was ready to play there, but he fit right in and that’s one reason we felt we could move him quickly. He didn’t look like he was a minor-league player.”

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