The Houston Astros called up Jason Castro at the end of last week.
John Sickels rated Castro as a B+ prospect coming into 2010. I find his comment on Castro to be instructive: "He's kind of a low-end B+, with a high floor but a lower ceiling compared to some other guys in this grade range." Castro put up quite a half-season at High A at the age of 22, sporting a .900+ OPS. His numbers really tailed off in AA, and in AAA before his call up, he boasted only a .720 OPS in the PCL. His walk rates declined some on his way through the minors, but his strikeout total did as well.
I do not think Castro will hit for a lot of power in the majors, but he makes good contact. Mike and I talked about it a bit; Eddie Taubensee is the guy that keeps coming to mind for me as a Castro peak (the 1994-1996 version of Taubensee at least). I'm not sure Castro will ever bust out to 20+ homers, but the average should be decent in his prime, and 10-12 home runs is not unreasonable.
For this year, if you are in mixed leagues, Castro is a play only if you are very weak (and I stress very) at your second catching spot...remember that he'll be given every chance to win and keep that job at this point. NL-only keeper league players are going to want to put in a competitive bid. He's the best catcher coming into the league from the minors into the NL, and he is going to log ABs, so this is not a bad place to spend some money. I would say that contenders really need to spend in the $10-$20 range for Castro, depending on how weak your catchers are. Non-contenders will be trying to log a competitive keeper bid on the low end of that range.