Tuesday, March 12, 2019


If one were to poll the original Luis Castillo fantasy baseball owners in 2018, the general consensus reaction to the experience would undoubtedly be a negative one.  Having entered into the season as one of the more sought after sleepers on the heels of a very impressive 2017 debut (3.12 ERA, 9.87 K/9, 1.22 WHIP), predictions that Castillo was the next big power arm were being floated around the fantasy baseball community.  As so often happens when the hype gets out of hand, things went in the wrong direction for Castillo early on in the season as he was battered unmercifully to the tune of an unfathomable 5.49 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and an 8.36 K/9).  Pretty much everything went wrong for Castillo during this span and it was easy to see that the kid was completely shell-shocked and lacking zero confidence.  It also was at this point where many Castillo fantasy baseball owners jumped ship in sending him to their league’s waiver wire en masse which was understandable considering how brutal the numbers were.  However, the Reds deserve credit for sticking with Castillo through the struggles and pretty soon their patience was rewarded when the righty went on a second-half tear in logging a 2.44 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 9.36 K/9 rate.  As a result of that run, many original Castillo owners were left seething even more than they were before as they watched an opposing league member snatch him up and gain the benefit of those tremendous numbers.  So in terms of the totality of the season, it is easy to see that Castillo worked through a sophomore slump and figured things out on the fly in terms of how to adjust back against hitters who gained a book on his approach the previous winter.  While it is foolish to compare the two halves of 2018 in projecting Castillo for next season, we can draw some conclusions that are bankable.  The most potent would be Castillo’s propensity for collecting strikeouts which have always been a part of the statistical equation here and has resulted in 263 K’s in 259 career major league innings.  Also not to be overlooked is the fact Castillo’s BABIP of .282 was in the unlucky territory last season and so his composite 4.30 ERA should have been lower.  With the walks also checking out nicely (2.60 BB/9), Castillo only has to work on keeping his very high home run rate (1.49 HR/9) in check in order for him to achieve optimum efficiency.  So what we have here is a fantasy baseball stock that will be much quieter this spring then it was compared to a year prior but that just means the payoff can be more potent given the fact Castillo still retains the vast upside that made us all chase him in the first place.
2019 PROJECTION:  12-11 3.77 ERA 1.24 WHIP 179 K 

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