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 Minnesota Twins twins Players twins Luis Castillo; 2nd Base
     
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Luis Antonio Castillo

Luis Castillo; 2nd Base

Name: Luis Antonio Castillo
Birth date: 09/12/1975
Birthplace: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
Height: 5-11
Weight: 190
School: San Benito Abad (DR)
Draft: undrafted free agent
Nickname: Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
Position: 2nd Base
Experience: 9 years
2005 Salary: $4,985,537
Contract Status: 3-year deal worth 16M and up to 4-years, 22M on 12/3/03 -MIN is responsible for all of 2006 salary and all of 2007 salary or buyout
Service Time: 7.055

Minnesota Twins newest 2nd Baseman, Luis Castillo, was born on September 12, 1975 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. He attended Colegio San Benito Abad in Dominican Republic. Luis is proud of his Latin heritage and he and his family reside in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in the MLB off-season. Luis started his Major League career in 1995 when he joined the Florida Marlins. He had a great career with the Marlins including being a part of the 2003 World Series Championship team when the Marlins defeated the Yankees. Luis was recently traded to the Twins on 12/02/05 for minor league pitchers Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler.

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Luis is a natural right-handed hitter and continues to improve from the left side. As a righty, he becomes more pull conscious and swings for the fences more than he should. As a result, he can struggle with good changeups. From the left side, he has started to turn on more inside pitches, but his trademark is the slap-and-dash game. Luis is comfortable working deep counts and is a good two-strike hitter. He's also an excellent bunter who usually ranks among the league leaders in infield hits. He used to struggle with the bat when runners where in scoring position, putting too much pressure on himself, but that's no longer a prominent problem.

After winning his first Gold Glove in 2003, Luis repeated the accomplishment in 2004 and 2005. He has one of strongest arms at second base. Unfortunately, Luis hasn't been the same threat on the bases since having let hip surgery in 2002. However, when the situation calls for a key stolen base, he can still pull it off.

In a ten-year career, Castillo has batted .292 with 16 home runs, 248 RBI, and 276 stolen bases in 1,031 games. He has many awards and accomplishments including a 35-game hitting streak in 2002 which is the longest ever by any second baseman and also the longest ever by any Latin player. His bat and batting gloves from the streak are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. He has the 3 Golden Glove Awards and was a National League All-Star in 2002, 2003 and 2005. He also had a fantastic streak of 95 plate appearances without striking out. He led all Major League players with a .423 (47-for-111) batting average against left-handed pitching.

He has been victim to nagging leg injuries, but still remains a very solid player. The Twins have been looking to make a change at second base, and Luis also fills a hole at the top of the order. He should provide Torii Hunter, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau with more RBI opportunities than they had last season. The Twins look forward to his leadership and strong playing to make it a memorable season!


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