Baltimore Orioles: 5 Bold Predictions for the 2018 Season

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 21: Starting pitcher Gabriel Ynoa
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 21: Starting pitcher Gabriel Ynoa /
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2. Miguel Castro finishes the year in the Orioles’ rotation and as one of their better starters

I could gush about Miguel Castro‘s repertoire for hours, but suffice to say, the dude is loaded with potential. Where that potential places him within the Orioles’ roster is another question entirely.

To this point, Castro has been used by the Baltimore Orioles exclusively as a reliever, but they seem to want to try and stretch him out as a potential starter. Given how little depth the team has in the rotation, it’s no surprise they’d want to try someone with as much potential as Castro out.

As it stands right now, Castro is essentially a two-pitch pitcher, with an amazing two-seam fastball and a solid slider. I mean look at this fastball:

Seriously LOOK AT IT:

Man, that is beautiful. That fastball has all the potential in the world, but man does not live on fastball alone. Castro’s slider doesn’t have loads of movement on it, but it works pretty well, generating a 13.6% whiff rate last year. That being said, hitters didn’t chase it much, with just a 32.5% chase rate last year, though they couldn’t make good contact against it either, hitting just .158 with a .215 wOBA against the pitch.

The key to Castro’s success as a potential starter lies in this pitch, his changeup:

It’s a pretty nice changeup to be honest. It’s got loads of horizontal movement and does an excellent job of missing bats, generating a 19.6% whiff rate and a 42.3% chase rate last year. The main problem Castro has had with it has been control, throwing it in the zone just 36.6% of the time last year.

If Castro can get his changeup under control, he’s got three above-average pitches that he can mix and be an effective starter. If he’s unable to control that changeup, he looks more to be a bullpen guy and potentially a future closer. No matter where he ends up though, that fastball is a work of art.