Casteel named Texas League Player of Week
by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Jun 10, 2014 | 852 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Former Bradley Central and Cleveland State standout Ryan Casteel has added another award to his trophy case as he has been named Texas League Player of the Week.

A catcher/first baseman/designated hitter for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers, the 5-foot-11, 205-pounder posted a .385 batting average along with a .448 on base percentage and a .846 slugging percentage.

The Colorado Rockies farmhand went 10-for-26 at the plate, plus drew three base on balls. Casteel laced three doubles and blasted a trio of home runs, while driving in seven runs and scoring seven times himself.

Casteel collected a homer and a double in three separate games last week, including back-to-back nights on June 3 and 4, showing glimpses of the power that produced 22 homers and 30 doubles for High-A Modesto (Calif.) last season.

The backstop, who turned 23 on Friday, got off to a modest start in April (.227/.288/.364) but has been steadily improving. He has his season numbers up to a .274 average with a .324 OBP, .437 slugging percentage and a .761 OPS. He has 10 doubles and seven home runs in his 52 hits in 49 games. He has driven in 27 runs and scored 28 times.

Casteel was the California League Catcher of the Year last summer, plus won Player of the Week honors twice while playing in the Australian Baseball League during the winter. He was chosen as an All-Star in both leagues.

Playing for Modesto last summer, Casteel had his best campaign in his four previous professional seasons with 22 home runs, 30 doubles, four triples, 76 RBIs, a .523 slugging percentage and a .352 on base percentage.

In 45 games this past winter playing for the Melbourne Aces, Casteel led the league in home runs (11), batting average (.343), slugging percentage (.614) and OPS  (1.020). He was also second in total bases (102), RBIs (36) and hits (tied with 57), plus third in on base percentage (.405).

Casteel also was among the top 15 in the league in doubles (10), runs scored (23) and walks (17). He struck out just 20 times in more than 180 trips to the plate.

A 17th round pick by the Rockies in the 2010 First-Year Player Major League Draft, Casteel won his first Player of the Week honors in August of that season while playing for Casper, Wyo., of the Pioneer League. He has played in 372 games so far in his professional career.