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Three Rays Prospects Bring The Heat

Ryne Stanek, Diego Castillo, and Jose Alvarado throw fastballs 100+ MPH

Ryne Stanek
Jim Donten

Baseball America released a list of 60+ minor leaguers who have had scouts, front office officials, or Pitch/FX report a 100+ MPH pitch. Anybody who has watched baseball recently has seen the rise in velocity. Over the last 15 years velocities have increased over 3 MPH on the average fastball in MLB.

These are the Rays noted in BA’s report:

Ryne Stanek

The Rays first round pick in the 2013 MLB draft has been moved to the bullpen where his velocity has played up. In spring training I saw multiple 102 MPH pitches according to the stadium gun in Lakeland, so it’s no surprise to see him land on the list throwing 100 MPH.

Stanek spent the 2016 season in Montgomery (AA) and Durham (AAA) and threw 42.1 innings over 23 outings. He gets his share of strikeouts (23.0% K-rate), but also walks more than you would like (10.9% BB-rate). It’s likely he could earn a promotion to the majors in 2017.

Diego Castillo

Bradley Neveu in his Late Night Raymblings recently took a look at Castillo’s big fastball and slider combination. In the AFL he has been tracked throwing a 101.75 MPH fastball according to Brooks Baseball.

Castillo signed as a 20 year old out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. He won’t be Rule 5 eligible until next winter, so he should see some exposure to the upper minors in 2017 before making a decision to add him to the 40 man.

Castillo started the season in Bowling Green (A) but earned a July promotion to Port Charlotte (A+). He is currently representing the Rays as a member of the Peoria Javelinas. He earned a spot on the Fall Stars team that will be shown on MLB Network this Saturday at 8 PM EDT.

In 43 appearances Castillo threw 67.2 innings where he has struck out 25.4% and walked 6.5% of batters. He’s posted a 2.79 ERA and 3.01 FIP in 2016.

Jose Alvarado

Alvarado brings the heat from the left side of the mound, making him one of the more notable names to follow moving forward in the Rays system. The 21 year old was signed as a 16 year old in March 2012 out of Venezuela, and he will Rule 5 eligible this winter. Like Castillo he started the season in Bowling Green (A) and earned a mid season promotion to Port Charlotte (A+).

Alvarado has been clocked at 100 MPH, but he has had trouble limiting walks throughout his minor league career. In 37 appearances Alvarado threw 70.2 innings in 2016. He struck out 27.2% of batters, but he walked 17.6% of batters. He was able to limit the damage with a 3.09 ERA and 3.49 FIP.

In five years in the states he has generally walked 6+ BB/9. That will have to improve for him to make any impact in the majors.