No. 42: Anthony Castro, RHP
Anthony Castro is only 17 years old, and spent the 2012 season pitching in the Venezuelan Summer League (VSL). Young even for the VSL, Castro more than held his own, throwing 53 1/3 innings with a 3.38 ERA, while striking out 46. He allowed only 40 hits, well below a hit per inning, but also walked 30 hitters, inflating his WHIP to a still not terrible 1.31. He stands 6'1", and checks in at 160lbs right now, but there is a ton of projection in his frame, so filling out won't be a problem, especially when you consider that he won't even turn 18 until April. To be completely honest with you all, I don't know a whole lot about Castro, but a lot of people who's opinions I respect are very high on him, so I'll take their word for it, and that's why you find him on this rankings list.
The most impressive thing about Castro to me is that he's a rail thin 17 year old that already works in the low 90's with his fastball velocity, which is quite impressive. His frame and arm speed give him the projection to eventually reach into the mid-high 90's consistently, but before everyone gets too excited, it's important to remember that he's still a long way off. Reports are that he also throws a curveball that has plus projection, and a changeup that may eventually grade out as average as well. With the potential for 2 plus pitches and a 3rd usable pitch, it's easy to see why the Tigers are high on him. He needs to throw more strikes, but that's not uncommon for someone who's only 17 years old.
I'd assume Castro heads back to the VSL in 2013 to hone his craft, because, remember, he won't even turn 18 until mid April next year. If 2013 goes well, then I'm sure we'll see him stateside in 2014, probably in rookie league with the GCL Tigers, maybe even as high as short season Connecticut. I'm hoping to see him enter full season ball with West Michigan by early 2015, where he'll still be very young at 20 years old. And from there, time will tell depending on how he progresses, obviously, but don't go expecting to see Castro in Detroit before 2018 or so, if all goes well.