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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Juan Castillo made bigs for two games over nine seasons

Juan Castillo 1990 Pittsfield Mets card

After his second major league start in late July 1994, Juan Castillo looked for more. If not then, later, he told The Hackensack Record.

He'd gone five innings in his debut and into the seventh in that second appearance, getting no-decisions in each.

"I would like to (stay)," Castillo told The Record. "But even if it's just two (major league starts), I'll go down, work hard, see what happens."

For Castillo, it turned out to be just those two major league starts, then and ever. He returned for two more seasons after that. He never made it back to the bigs.

Castillo's career began in 1988, signed by the Mets as a free agent out of his native Venezuela.

Castillo started with the Mets in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He played his first two seasons there. He  went 4-7, with a 2.88 ERA.

He moved to short-season Pittsfield for 1990, then single-A Columbia in 1991 and high-A St. Lucie in 1992. He went 11-8 at St. Lucie, with a 2.58 ERA.

He nearly had a seven-inning perfect game at St. Lucie in August 1992, but he allowed a single in the fourth inning for a one-hitter, The Palm Beach Post wrote.

"It was a fastball right down the middle," Castillo told The Post afterward of the single. "I was trying to throw it in the corner. I was really concentrating trying to get a complete game in because of the doubleheaders."

For 1993, Castillo arrived at AA Binghamton. He played 1994 at Binghamton and AAA Norfolk. Then that July, he got called up to the Mets in New York.

In early July 1994, Castillo was still in Binghamton. After hitting a wall the previous season, he came back rested for 1994 and had success, The Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin wrote.

"This year is totally different," Castillo told The Press and Sun-Bulletin. "I feel strong. I feel confident."

Then, by July 26, Castillo was in the majors. He gave up five earned in five innings against he Cardinals in St. Louis. Five days later, he went 6.2 innings and gave up four earned.

The strike soon came. He played 1995 with the Astros at AA Jackson and AAA Tucson, then 1996 at AA Tulsa to end his career.

Juan Castillo 1990 Pittsfield Mets card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,659
Made the Majors:1,252-34.2%-X
Never Made Majors:2,407-65.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:308

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