He'd played in four previous pro seasons in the Brewers and Expos systems and made AAA, but he hadn't made the majors. But he'd also run into forces beyond his control, he told The Star Tribune.
"I got jerked around and I didn't handle it well," Castaldo told The Star Tribune. "I got bitter. My performance suffered, and I didn't know if I wanted to play anymore."
Castaldo did end up playing more, and he became one of the top Saints players in the club's history. His affiliated time, however, had nearly concluded. He never made the majors.
Castaldo's career began in 1990, taken by the Brewers in the 33rd round of the draft out of the University of Kentucky. Castaldo was also credited as Vinny Castaldo.
Castaldo started with the Brewers at rookie Helena. He hit .335 in 62 games. He also made the league All-Star team. That August, he hit a two-run home run to help his team to a win, The Helena Independent-Record wrote.
"I was really seeing the ball well tonight," Castaldo told The Independent-Record then.
He moved to high-A Stockton for 1991. He hit .249 in 131 games there. He also hit 13 home runs and knocked in 74.
Castaldo then made AA El Paso for 1992. He hit .289 there. In June, he helped run his team to a win by going first to home on a ball that dropped out of the right fielder's reach, The El Paso Times wrote.
"That was just major league base running. You can't run bases better than he did," El Paso manager Chris Bando told The Times. "Vinny read the ball instantly and took off. I knew he was going to score."
Castaldo moved to the Expos and AAA Ottawa for 1993. He hit .241 over 77 games and didn't see Montreal.
He joined St. Paul for 1994 and returned there for part of 1995. He hit .316 in 79 games there in 1994 and .304 in 51 games there in 1995. In a 25-year retrospective on the team, one blogger remembered Castaldo on the All-Saints team.
Castaldo also played seven games with the Marlins at AAA Charlotte and in Mexico in 1995. He saw Mexico again in 1996 and then ended his career in 1997 at independent Winnipeg.
- Helena Independent-Record, Aug. 16, 1990: Brewers rebound
- El Paso Times, June 11, 1992: 1st-place Diablos push win streak to 4
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, Aug. 2, 1994: Saints' Castaldo older, wiser - and better
Made the Majors:1,202-35.1%
Never Made Majors:2,222-64.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:499
10+ Seasons in the Minors:294