Stanford Baseball Feature - Jason Castro
April 19, 2006
by Laura Severson
Freshman baseball player Jason Castro began his Stanford career just as suspected: working hard and contributing immediately. He learned how to play the game right from his baseball family, and Castro seems to be the perfect fit for the rich Stanford Baseball tradition that boasts successful players with high standards. Passing professional baseball for the Stanford experience was an easy decision for Castro, as it has been for past Stanford players.
'Stanford was my number one choice. I always hoped to come here and when I found out I got in, it was a dream come true, and I was so excited to come here and play baseball,' he emphasized.
Castro's enthusiasm is undoubtedly benefiting the Cardinal this season. The native of Castro Valley, California, is enjoying regular playing time in his first season. Castro has played in 25 of Stanford's 30 games this season, starting 17. Seeing time primarily as a first baseman but also as a designated hitter and pinch-hitter, Castro got his first collegiate start behind the plate versus San Francisco last night. He is hitting .262 with a homer and four RBI after five hits in his last eight at bats. And no statistic can beat his attitude.
Castro asserted, 'I've tried to contribute to the good of the team as much as possible. As a freshman, my biggest goal is to help the team win, and do any little thing even if I'm not playing or only have a late inning appearance.'
Castro goes about playing this team game the way his family inspired him to. He attributes his baseball success and goal setting ability to his family's support and dedication to his talent. Castro's family has been there from day one, and he remembers summers playing for hours on end with his brother and friends.
Castro is especially thankful his dad and grandpa were always there to help him get better.
'My grandpa taught and talked to me about the game and was very knowledgeable. My dad played in college, and he was always there. He threw hours of batting practice and took me out on the weekends outside of practice and did all the extra stuff, and encouraged me,' Castro recalled.
It was these early years that got Castro hooked on playing baseball. As the competition grew more challenging, Castro set his sights on the real thing.
'I always hoped I would be able to play baseball as long as I could,' Castro said. 'When I got into high school and started traveling more with my summer team, I got to see better competition and realized I wanted to pursue baseball.'
Drafted by his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, in the 43rd round of the 2005 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Castro passed up the opportunity to play for a better one in his mind.
Castro said of his decision, 'It wasn't too difficult because I know that there will always be another chance to be drafted. There is such a small percentage chance that I would make it to the big leagues and if I were to pass up the opportunity for a Stanford education, I would probably regret that in the long run.'
Castro is just what Stanford Baseball is all about - living a baseball dream and simultaneously getting a world-class education.
There is no doubt Castro is here to play and seems to have adjusted to college ball quite well using the guidance of his teammates, namely Stanford senior catcher, John Hester. Castro seems to understand what is expected of him and says the best part about being a Stanford Baseball player is, '... being a part of what Stanford Baseball stands for - the history, and having the privilege to play at Sunken Diamond every day.'
Castro asserts that Stanford Baseball has one long-term goal.
'Our goal is to make it to the College World Series, and we will hopefully do that by taking it one day at a time. So our short-term goal will help us accomplish our long-term goal.'
As for the future, Castro declared, 'Baseball would be my number one thing, but if that doesn't work out I will hopefully get a job and see what happens'.
For now, Jason Castro has a dream to realize.