Castillo joins former Panthers in pro ranks

New Mexico outfielder inks free-agent contract with Miami Marlins organization

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
New Mexico's Kyler Castillo, a Midlothian High graduate, rounds third base during a baseball game against Nevada this season.

And then there were three, as a third Midlothian High School alumnus has reached an agreement to join a Major League Baseball organization.

New Mexico outfielder Kyler Castillo, a 2016 MHS graduate, has signed a free-agent contract with the Miami Marlins. Castillo was undrafted in this month’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

In 2021, Castillo was Third Team All-American, First Team Central-ABCA/Rawlings All-Region, and Mountain West Conference batting champion. Castillo led the Lobos with a .439 (72-for-164) average — fourth best in the nation — with 40 runs scored, 16 doubles, seven home runs and 40 RBI.

Castillo played for Ray Birmingham, the recently-retired longtime coach of the Lobos who coached current major leaguer Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros among other players.

Castillo started his collegiate career at Odessa College, where he batted .460 with seven homers as a redshirt sophomore in the 2019 season before moving on to UNM.

Castillo joins ex-Panther Russell Smith, who was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 51st pick in this month MLB draft; and Smith’s former Panther and TCU battery mate Zach Humphreys, who signed a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Smith, a 6-foot-9 lefthanded pitcher, was a four-year starter for the Panthers, graduating in 2017. He chose to attend TCU after being taken in the 38th round by the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 MLB draft. At TCU, Smith compiled a career record of 12-5 with an ERA of 3.51, and struck out 163 batters while walking just 41.

As a senior at MHS, Smith set a school record with a 0.44 ERA with only eight hits allowed, and tallied 100 strikeouts while throwing two no-hitters. He was named district Pitcher of the Year three times and was named a Rawlings-Perfect Game second-team All-American as a senior.

Humphreys, a senior catcher, earned several accolades during the 2021 season: Big 12 Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, second-team ABCA All-Central Region, Big 12 Honorable Mention, first-team Academic All-Big 12, and Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team.

Humphreys, a 2016 MHS graduate, was an all-state catcher and twice earned all-state honors in his high school career. His older brother, Alec, played for Texas Tech and Tarleton State, and younger brother Nathan will be headed to Dallas Baptist University this fall. Their father, Mike Humphreys, played college and professional ball as well.

Zach Humphreys was drafted by the Brewers in the 26th round in 2019 but opted to return to TCU. He was not drafted this year.