The Royals announced yesterday that they’ve signed infielder Iván Castillo to a minor league contract. The 26-year-old had been outrighted off the Padres’ 40-man roster at the end of the season, making him eligible to sign a minors pact during the ongoing transactions freeze.
Castillo made an incredibly brief big league debut in 2021. He appeared in three games with San Diego in May, tallying a single and a walk over four plate appearances. The switch-hitter otherwise spent the entire season with the Friars’ top affiliate in El Paso, posting a .287/.326/.366 line with three home runs across 435 plate appearances in a hitter-friendly environment. While Castillo did well to put the ball in play — his 17.5% strikeout rate was well below the 22.6% MLB average — he didn’t draw many walks or hit for much extra-base impact.
That’s largely in line with Castillo’s overall track record in the minors. Listed at just 5’9″, 179 pounds, he doesn’t bring much raw power to the batter’s box. But he’s a quality contact hitter with ample experience at each of shortstop, second base and third base. Castillo, who has also spent time in the Indians’ and Blue Jays’ farm systems, was ranked by Baseball America as the #28 prospect in the San Diego organization entering 2021. He’ll presumably try to compete for a utility role in Kansas City next spring.