Carlos Alberto Gastelum
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Carlos Alberto Gastélum Ochoa (Chispa)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
Carlos Alberto Gastelum began his minor league career in 1999 with the Butte Copper Kings (.261/.338/.336) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (.227/.292/.242 in 17 G). In 2000, Carlos hit .199/.273/.223 for the Boise Hawks and .209/.354/.269 for the Lake Elsinore Storm. He did lead Northwest League second basemen in fielding percentage (.988), putouts (154) and double plays (48).
Gastelum spent all of 2001 with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes but batted only .204/.242/.267 in the hitter-friendly California League; the lone positive on offense was 20 steals in 26 tries. He led the league with 23 sacrifice hits. He again dazzled with the glove, leading the Cal League second sackers in fielding percentage (.982) and assists (330). The Los Angeles Angels wanted more offense to go with the defense, though, and it was the end of Carlos's time in the US.
In 2002, he returned to his native Mexico and batted .310 with 19 steals between two clubs. He was named the Mexican League Rookie of the Year. In '03, he improved to .327 with 20 swipes for the Angelopolis Tigers, helping his team to the finals, where they fell to the Mexico City Red Devils.
Gastelum hit .306/.362/.389 for the 2004 Tigers and led the Mexican League in games played (107) and at-bats (395). He led the league's second basemen in double plays (83) and putouts (249). During 2005, Carlos was even better, batting .375/.415/.493 and leading the league with 165 hits. He tied Felix Jose for 5th in average and scored 97 runs, 8 behind leader Sharnol Adriana. He stole 21 bases in 30 attempts. He turned 108 double plays, leading the loop's second baseman. He was named the league's All-Star 2B, beating out Carlos Valencia, who had set a new LMB record for homers at the position. Through 2009, it has been clearly his career year.
In 2006, Carlos batted .282/.353/.360 for Angelopolis, a significant drop-off. He was Mexico's shortstop for that year's Olympic qualifiers, but hit only .219/.306/.250; Mexico failed to advance to the 2008 Olympics but kept their hopes alive by advancing to another qualifier.
Gastelum hit .292 for the Hermosillo Orange Growers in the 2006-2007 Mexican Pacific League, then was 3 for 14 in the 2007 Caribbean Series. In the 2007 Mexican League campaign, the veteran batted .285/.360/.369 and was 17-for-25 in steal attempts for the Tigers, now the Quintana Roo Tigers. He fielded .998, making only one error all year long. He was on Mexico's squad for the 2007 Pan American Games but did not get into a game for the Bronze Medal winners as José Luis Sandoval and Benji Gil manned the middle infield.
In the winter of 2007-2008, Carlos put on a show for the Hermosillo club, hitting .338, 5th in the Mexican Pacific League. With Quintana Roo in '08, he hit .299/.351/.400. Carlos batted .253/.315/.358 for the 2009 Tigers and fielded .994 at second.