October 16, 2006


What's a Nats fan to think about Kory Casto? Is the gifted young hitter a future fixture in left field, the next Ryan Church, or just the best product of a bad farm system?

The statistics are no help. Casto put up a great line at Potomac in 2005 (.290/.394/.510) good enough to earn him the organizational Player of the Year award. He followed that with a solid season at Double-A Harrisburg (.272/.379/.478) and a second consecutive POY. But as Basil demonstrated
here, Kory's stats don't translate well to the big leagues, at least not yet. Most notably, the talented Mr. Casto can't hit left-handed pitching.

So that's it, right? Nice kid, this Kory. Might have a future as a corner OF/3B, spelling Ryan Zimmerman once every couple of weeks. Just never against a lefty. Not such a bad life, really. But then came the
Arizona Fall League. And in the early going, Casto's tearing things up.

The AFL's supposed to be finishing school for prospects just about ready to make the leap to the big show. In theory, Kory's facing the best pitching of his professional career, and he's beating the snot out of it. All the usual small sample size caveats apply (18 ABs over 5 games) but Casto's .500/.667/.778 line is more than just eyebrow-raising. Most impressive? Nine BBs against two Ks.

Of course,
Larry Broadway had a nice little Arizona Fall League last season, and look where that got him. Another wasted year in Triple-A (.288/.356/.455) and a season-ending separated shoulder for his trouble. So maybe Kory Casto's October Surprise is just a flash in the pan. But in an offseason that promises little to get excited about, sometimes it's nice to dream.

1 comment:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

Kory, at 25, needs major league at bats. Let's see if he can handle it or not. Under old management Kory doesn't make the major league squad, has a few cups of coffee before turning 28, then comes up as a 4th OF. We spend the next two years debating whether he should play as his skill diminish. Let's see if new manangement is smarter than that