Wednesday, June 10, 2009

With the 311th pick...

The Astros select 6'4" 200lb third baseman Erik Castro from San Diego State. (Wasn't there somebody else from San Diego State drafted this year...?)

Batting left/throwing right, and also spent significant time behind the plate as Strasburg's personal catcher, Castro led the Fightin' Gwynns in batting average (.387), home runs (11) and RBI (51) during the 2009 regular season.

Says Head Coach Tony Gwynn:
"He was pretty green in the beginning, but now he's pretty good back there. Catching has opened some people's eyes as to how good he could be back there. When he starts to trust his ability to use the whole field, he's going to be a much better hitter. That applies to everybody, not just him, but it's especially true in his case. When he just relaxes and sees the ball and reacts to what he sees he's much better. But that's a learned trait and it hasn't quite sunken in yet."

I worked hard with Coach (Mark) Martinez on my swing and one thing was getting my (front) foot down before the pitch was coming. That allowed me to be more patient at the plate. It helped me recognize the ball better out of the pitcher's hand."

Where will he play? Ask Castro himself:
"Probably catcher. Maybe third. Maybe a mixture of both. It's great to have a lot of positions to play to get your bat in the lineup."

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