We’re reviewing the 316 players to have appeared with the Astros at every level through 2022.
Jason Castro is a six-foot-three, 215 lb. lefty-batting, righty-throwing catcher from Castro Valley, CA. Born on June 18, 1987, he was a 43rd round choice of the Boston Red Sox in 2005 and Houston’s first round choice (10th overall) in 2008.
Players taken 10th overall have an 82 percent success rate at reaching the major leagues, including 16 to have achieved 10 or greater WAR at the top level in their careers. The most prolific of those is Mark McGwire (62.1 WAR). Castro has 12.4 WAR.
Castro got to the majors with Houston in 2010, and played through the 2016 season with them in his first round with the club. Over that span, he hit .232/.309/.390 with 62 homers and 212 RBI. He made the American League All Star Team in 2013, when he posted careerists in each slashline stat, posting a .276/.350/.485 with 18 jacks and 56 RBI.
Castro then went on a four-year odyssey, playing with the Minnesota Twins, the Los Angeles Angels, and the San Diego Padres. He resigned with the Astros through free agency prior to the 2021 season for two years and $7 million. That season would see him play in 66 games as Houston’s backup backstop, slashing .235/.356/.443 with eight homers and 21 RBI. He drew 25 walks and struck out 54 times in 179 plate appearances.
In 2022, Castro was plugged in once again as Houston’s number two catcher, but he didn’t post very good numbers. In 88 plate appearances he hit six singles, two doubles, and one home run (but what a home run). He drew eight walks and struck out 40 times, with a .115/.205/.179 slashline.
Defensively, Castro got 201 innings behind the plate and posted a .986 fielding percentage, and came in at 18 runs below average in terms of defensive runs saved per 1200 innings. He threw out four-of-16 runners trying to take a base the cheap way.
On June 29, in what is likely Castro’s final appearance at the major league level, he posted his first multiple hit game of the season, with a single and a home run. He hit the jack with two outs in the ninth inning, driving home all of the runs in a 2-0 Astros win against the New York Mets. It was his hardest hit ball of the season, coming off the bat at 108.7 MPH. He went on the injured list some time later with a knee injury, and never came into another game. According to SI.COM:
Castro’s career could be coming to a close. Suffering a knee injury resulting in season-ending surgery, the longtime catcher floated retirement after the 2022 season during spring training availability.
I don’t see it as very likely that Castro returns next season. I could be wrong, but if Houston didn’t spend a QO on Justin Verlander, it’s impossible they would extend one to Castro. Still, Castro began and ended his career with the Astros, and is currently a World Series Champion. There’s worse ways to go out. My apologies to Castro if this turns out to be a bum prognostication. Thanks for reading.