Jose Castillo Essentials
Bats: R Throws: R
73 Weight: 210
Born: Thursday, March 19, 1981 in Las Mercedes, Guarico Venezuela
Died: in ,
Last Game: 9/28/2008
Full Name: Jose Rondon Castillo
Jose Castillo, second baseman for the 2004-07 Pirates. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Pirates out of Venezuela, shortly after his 16th birthday. After one season in the Venezuelan Summer League, he made it to the states as an 18-year-old, playing in the Gulf Coast League. Pittsburgh moved him up to A-ball the next year and he hit .299 with 16 homers and 72 RBIs during his first year in a full season league. He moved up to High-A ball for 2001 and hit .245 with 23 steals. The Pirates had him repeat the level in 2002 and he put up big numbers, hitting .300 with 27 steals, 16 homers and 81 RBIs. He played well at Double-A the next season, then in Spring Training of 2004 he made the Pirates as their starting second baseman.
That rookie season of 2004 saw Castillo play 129 games, with 105 starts at second base. He hit .256 with eight homers and 39 RBIs. In 2005 he had two trips to the DL, the first time just two games into the season when he strained an oblique muscle. The second injury happened as he was taken out by a runner attempting to break up a double play. That injury put him out from August 22nd until the end of the season. He was still able to hit .268 with 11 homers and 53 RBIs in 101 games. Castillo came into Spring Training 2006 healthy, and put up his best career numbers. In 148 games he hit .253 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs, despite second half struggles that season. In 2007, Castillo lost his starting job to Freddy Sanchez and he would end up playing more third base than second base. In 87 games he hit .244 without a home run or a stolen base base, and just six walks. He was released in December 2007 and he spent one more season in the majors, splitting the 2008 campaign between the Giants and Astros. Castillo played in Japan, Italy, Mexico and Venezuelan until his untimely passing at age 37 in December, 2018.