Draft update: Marlins exec accesses Painter, Del Castillo
The Miami Marlins pick 16th overall in the MLB Draft, and South Florida has several players who expect to go in the early rounds. Marlins director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik offers his thoughts on Andrew Painter and Adrian Del Castillo
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
Even in a “down year,” the state of Florida still has some top amateur baseball players who project to be taken in the early rounds of the MLB Draft.
Calvary Christian Academy right-hander Andrew Painter and University of Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo fit the profile in the 2021 Draft Class.
Painter is a 6-foot-7 University of Florida commit, who is expected to be a first-rounder. Del Castillo, a left-handed hitter who has some questions about his defensive abilities behind the plate, should go in the first two rounds.
The Miami Marlins pick 16th overall in the first round, which is about where Painter projects to be selected on July 11, Day 1 of the Draft.
Some mock Drafts have the Marlins linked to a catcher in the first round, but not Del Castillo. Harry Ford from North Cobb (Ga.) High School has been mentioned as a possibility, and Marlins director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik spoke favorably of Ford on Monday during a Zoom media call.
MO2 will be increasing its Draft coverage in the next few weeks.
Our focus today is on Painter and Del Castillo, a couple of South Florida players who should be off the board in the early rounds.
MO2 asked Svihlik about each.
“Every year, there’s a handful of high school pitchers in the country who separate themselves from the pack,” Svihlik said. “When you look at any given Draft, you don’t see a bunch of high school pitchers just emerging into the big leagues. You see a few. You see a handful of them.
“And if you had Group No. 1, and Group No. 2, Andrew always tends to fit into Group No. 1. Very, very talented pitcher.”
Calvary Christian Academy traditionally has had a strong program. Left-hander Jake Eder, the Marlins’ fourth-round pick in 2020, attended CCA in Fort Lauderdale.
Eder played collegiately at Vanderbilt, and he’s become one of, if not, the best pitching prospect Miami’s system. Eder, a left-hander, currently is at Double-A Pensacola.
Painter is a hard-throwing right-hander who has the makings of a frontline starter.
But will the Marlins, an organization deep in pitching, use the 16th overall pick for another pitcher, especially after using all six of their picks on pitchers in 2020?
“He’s been seen quite a bit by all organizations,” Svihlik said. “The question we have to weigh is, what we did last year, versus what we want to do going forward. And where does he fit into that equation. He’s a very talented pitcher, though.”
In Painter’s senior season, he had an 0.30 and 93 strikeouts in 47 innings.
Del Castillo definitely would fill a position of need. Catching depth is always an issue, for pretty much every team.
But Del Castillo presents another issue that the Marlins are evaluating. What to do about players who performed better two years ago than this season? The UM sophomore had a down 2021, after being so impressive as a freshman in ’19.
Because the 2020 season was shortened due to the pandemic, Del Castillo is still classified as a sophomore. But his numbers at the plate in 2021 dipped from two years ago, when he was a force at the plate.
The year, his slash line was .275/.380/.395 with three homers.
In 2019, Del Castillo slashed .358/.478/.547 with 12 homers. His 72 RBIs that year remain the second most by a UM freshman, behind Ryan Braun’s 76.
“Del Castillo falls in that positional scarcity bucket,” Svihlik said. “There’s other players across the country that are like him.
“If you look at what he did this year at Miami compared to what he did his freshman year, there’s a huge gap between that and this. So what do we do? How do you address that? It becomes very, very challenging. Is he the guy he was his freshman year? Or, he under-performed a little bit this year. Which guy is he?”
That’s the challenge for the Marlins’ scouts, and the front office as they go about evaluating the Miami native.
Del Castillo attended Culliver Prep High school, and this year, he was second-team All-ACC.
“What we do know about Adrian Del Castillo is, he’s a very talented hitter,” Svihlik said. “He’s got really good bat-to-ball skills. He sprays the ball all over the field. He doesn’t swing and miss, and he plays a position of scarcity.”