In recent weeks, I considered writing about Houston prospect Jason Castro as a big 2011 sleeper candidate. The Astros have been so weak at catcher and like the former 10th overall pick so much that they handed the regular catching duties over to the 23 year old Castro midyear last season. He didn't fare too well at the plate, hitting .205 and whiffing 41 times in 195 at-bats, but in the minors he showed that he can hit, and with 2011 slated to be his first full year at the major league level, Castro looked poised to show everyone what he can do.
Now he won't get the chance, because Castro was injured in his second Spring Training game trying to avoid a tag from Miguel Cabrera. As it turned out, an MRI revealed that Castro tore his ACL and will require surgery. Given the recovery time of this sort of injury, Castro shouldn't be ready to go until September at the earliest. However, given Castro's importance in Houston's rebuilding plans, manager Brad Mills has admitted that the team will not be looking to rush Castro back in the job. In other words: he probably won't be seeing any action in 2011.
Castro is only owned in 0.1% of fantasy baseball leagues on ESPN and owned an ADP of 260, but because of the former Stanford standout's high talent ceiling, he was definitely worth a look in NL-only leagues and keeper formats. In the meantime, the Astros are left with Humberto Quintero, a career .232 hitter, as their regular backstop.
Look for Castro to try and bounce back and build fantasy draft stock next spring. Despite the severity of his injury, Castro has a lot of talent and should be able to rebound nicely if his recovery goes as according to plan. In his minor league career, Castro managed a .287 average, .788 OPS, and 16 home runs in just under 800 at-bats.