HELENA — Being a multi-tool player means being able to excel in several different areas, adding a valuable asset to any program. No one fits this description more than Helena Brewers right fielder LG Castillo.
Not only does he excel as one of the club’s most dependable players, but it turns out Castillo is also good at football, receiving an offer to play for Oklahoma in addition to being on the baseball team.
“You saw him, right? Thats a big dude,” laughed Brewers left fielder Je’von Ward.
But that was not the path that Castillo wanted, instead deciding to stick to the diamond.
“I think what I liked more about baseball was, being sure that that I could play this for a while,” said Castillo. “Football could just end any day. I mean, same thing with baseball, but all that contact and those head injuries, those come to bite you.”
His Bo Jackson-like athletic ability isn’t the the only tool Castillo has at his disposal. He learned English as a second language.
“My parents taught me Spanish first and I actually ended up learning English on leapster (leapfrog) pads because my parents didn’t want me to pick up their accent,” Castillo said.
Right now, Castillo’s second language might be an even bigger asset than his athletic talent. With the large number of Spanish-speaking players in every level of professional ball, knowing how to communicate with everyone in the organization is a useful skill.
“It’s definitely more of a benefit in pro ball because a lot of guys don’t understand the Spanish language or the English language,” said Castillo. “So you’re kind of the middle, median line, that you have to help people out in the clubhouse.”
With his father coming from the Dominican Republic, his mother from Puerto Rico and his stepfather being Spanish, Castillo’s grasp of the language is even more versatile than most.
“There is probably only three guys that can kind of translate, if you want to say ‘translate,’ but he’s definitely the main one,” said Ward. “A lot of the Latin guys like to talk to him just because he’s more Dominican than Puerto Rican, because our other two trainers are Puerto Rican. The Dominican Spanish is just a little different, but they really like talking to him. I think it’s really cool how he can speak both. I wish I could do that.”
“That’s the blessing of it. I mean, I’m thankful for my parents teaching me both languages,” Castillo said. “That’s honestly the best thing they could have done.”