Jesus Castillo walked out on to the mound at Camelback Ranch like he had pitched there a thousand times, and the Mesa Solar Sox offense was there to match the starter's strong performance.The Solar Sox convincingly beat the Glendale Desert Dogs 8-0 Monday afternoon behind a great outing from Castillo.
Jesus Castillo walked out on to the mound at Camelback Ranch like he had pitched there a thousand times, and the Mesa Solar Sox offense was there to match the starter's strong performance.
The Solar Sox convincingly beat the Glendale Desert Dogs 8-0 Monday afternoon behind a great outing from Castillo. The right-hander made his Fall League debut at Camelback Ranch, showing off some of the talent that landed him as the Angel's No. 12 prospect.
2018 Arizona Fall League rosters
"My mindset for this game today was like, just try to throw strikes," said Castillo. "It doesn't matter who was hitting or anything, I just was trying to throw my first pitch for a strike."
Castillo accomplished just that, as he racked up five strikeouts, allowed three hits and walked one batter in three scoreless innings. The 22-year-old said that for the past three to four weeks he's been working on his hip and shoulder separation, a process which he said is paying dividends in his performance as of late.
Castillo will enter into his third season in the Angels' farm system after being traded from the Cubs in 2016. And if Castillo felt any nerves heading into his first start, the Solar Sox offense alleviated it quickly, as Mesa scored two runs in the top of the first inning off of Yankees prospect Jordan Foley.
"Just being here, you feel really confident. You feel like you can do a lot of things," said Castillo. "Just facing these guys and having success … you feel like confident and you can do everything you want."
Eli White, the A's No. 18 prospect, posted impressive numbers in the first week of Fall League (.444, .524, .611), and his hot streak continued against the Desert Dogs, as he went 2-for-4.
White helped Mesa blow the lead open in the top of the fourth inning when he belted a two-run triple down the right-field line. The Solar Sox would go on to score one more run in the fourth for a 5-0 lead.
In total, Mesa scored nine hits, three of those from Nico Hoerner alone.
The Solar Sox were also noticeably aggressive in their baserunning, and it paid off for them. Three times the Sox successfully challenged the arm of catcher Keibert Ruiz, the Dodgers No. 2 prospect, and three times they reached second base safely.
With the loss, the Desert Dogs are 0-5. After a silent game in which Estevan Florial, the Yankees No. 2 prospect, and Ryan McKenna, the Orioles No. 12 prospect, both went hitless, Glendale left 14 runners stranded on base, and was 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Isaac Colindres is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.