Jason Castro the Astros top prospect has been called up and will become the Astros starting catcher for the foreseeable future. Castro before Spring Training was ranked #41 on Baseball America's Top 100 list but before you go Lady Gaga over him keep in mind a big reason why Castro is considered that high of a prospect is his defense and calling games. Castro hitting stats in AAA this year are as follows:
57 Games - 4HR - 26RBI - 31RBI - 1 SB - .265 Avg
Castro will probably hit towards the bottom of the lineup the rest of this year. If you are weak at your number 2 catcher position Castro can be a nice complementary player but don't expect anything more than that.
Another top prospect made his MLB debut the other night in San Francisco and that would be Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner entered spring training as Baseball America's 14th best prospect of their top 100 list in February. A lot of buzz was around Bumgarner as he had a 1.48 ERA in A ball and a 1.93 ERA in AA. Going into spring training camp there was even talk that Bumgarner could win the 5th starting spot in the rotation. Bumgarner has a rough spring and started the year in AAA and got off to a rough start there as well.
Bumgarner eventually righted the ship and after 14 starts at AAA Bumgarner had a 7-1 record with a 3.16 ERA, 1.33 Ratio & 59K in 82 2/3 IP. As write this story it appears Bumgarner's 1st start vs Boston at SF was a success. Bumgarner threw 96 pitches of which 66 were strikes and went 7 innings allowing 4 earned runs, 6 base runners while striking out 5. They only big downer was he allowed 2 Home Runs in the game.
Bumgarner is a talented kid and could be a guy who can help your team in the 2nd half as a back of the rotation pitcher for you. He pitches in a pitchers park which is a big plus but remember the following, Bumgarner plays for a team that has a lot of trouble scoring runs so don't expect that many wins. Also even when Bumgarner was mowing them down in A & AA ball he was not a big strikeout guy. So what I am saying is if you can pick up Bumgarner in your league's waiver wire - free agency do so and see what the kid can do in his next few starts. Like I said I think he can be a nice helper but that to me would be the high side based on the amount of wins he would get as well as strikouts.
NL King - C.Lizza