Castro’s changeup took a small step forward by generating more misses outside the zone, with its O-Contact rate dropping from 70.9% to 46.3%. The pitch seems to have some sustained ability to induce weak contact, with consecutive seasons of BABIPs under .152 and only seven extra-base hits in 646 pitches. Control was an issue, though; this pitch had a 33.1% SwStr%, and Castro has a 17.2% walk rate on at-bats ending with it.
After years of touching 100 mph, Castro pushed his average velocity up two ticks to 97.8 mph. Even still, his SwStr% dropped to 6.8, and his Z-Contact rate regressed to 88% from 86.4%. Castro avoided the top of the zone with this pitch and could likely increase his deception both with this pitch and his secondaries — his swinging strikes from the pitch did disproportionately come higher in the zone. Even still, it earned a 3.7 pVAL and batters managed just a 36 WRC+ against it.
Castro’s slider jumped its velocity on his changeup about two mph to 86.5 while also increasing its movement to elite levels, in turn increasing its SwStr% to 15.8%, O-Swing% to 33.3%, and its pVAL to 5.6. Castro seemed to do much better at locating this pitch than others, as only five walks ended with a slider, compared to 38 strikeouts.
His primary pitch is a hard tailing fastball that can reach almost 100 mph. His long reach due to his 6′ 7″ frame further improve its perceived velocity. Despite this, Castro can be too wild while also allowing a few too many home runs for it too be as effective as it could be.
Castro’s slider is another effective offspeed pitch of his. He is able to use it to strike batters out and keep the ball in play. If he can find a way to get batters to chase it a bit more, this pitch can be nasty.
Castro’s most effective pitch is his change. Fantastic horizontal movement tails into righties and away from lefties frequently getting batters to chase or at least get the ball on the ground.