If Ex-Astros GM Ed Wade is remembered for helping the Astros reach the top of the mountain, Jason Castro will be a huge reason why. Castro was Wade’s first draft pick of his tenure with the ‘Stros and brought with him the promise of being the first step in rebuilding a horrid farm system. While the numbers during his minor league time didn’t scream superstar, they did show steady progress and the constant word coming from each stop was that Castro would be a stud defensively. That would create a buzz that would follow Jason all the way to the big leagues and only after two years of minor league ball, Castro got the call to the big leagues. Ready or not, he would be anointed as the Astros catcher of the future and present.
During his rookie campaign, Jason would have very ordinary numbers as he struggled to adjust to the majors along with catching with a veteran pitching staff. Castro would hit .205 with 2 hrs and 8 rbis in just under 200 abs while producing a .573 ops. Those numbers were largely irrelevant in the eyes of management as they knew he would have some major adjustments to make after being rushed through the ‘Stros system. Of more concern was how he handled the veteran staff comprised of Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. He would shine in the eyes of Brad Mills, Ed Wade and most of the pitchers on the staff, increasing expectations that Castro could develop into a fantastic defensive player.
His 2011 season would end before it really began which was just the first of many punches to the Astros’ gut. With expectations sky high, Castro would come into Spring Training as the clear #1 catcher but while running to 1st base during an exhibition game he would blow out his ACL and end his season. As fans sat and watched the Astros use backup catchers to spell his absence, the thought of what could have been must have raced through most people’s minds. He came back during this AFL season to post a respectable batting average but most importantly caught a number of games. He will once again be the #1 catcher coming into ST 2012, hopefully this time an injury won’t derail the 24 year old backstop from reaching his full potential in his first full season.