Kory Christopher Casto
- Bats' Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.
- School University of Portland
- High School North Marion High School (Aurora, OR)
- Debut April 3, 2007
- Final Game September 28, 2008
- Born December 8, 1981 in Salem, OR USA
Kory Casto played 82 games in parts of two seasons with the Washington Nationals.
Casto hit .322/.386/.527 at the University of Portland as a freshman in 2002 and .338/.446/.637 as a junior in 2003. The Montréal Expos drafted Casto in the third round of the 2003 amateur draft, 87th overall. He was signed by scout Doug McMillan for $410,000 and debuted that summer, hitting .239/.322/.355 with the 2003 Vermont Expos. He led outfielders in the New York-Penn League with three double plays. His offensive stats look better when you note that Vermont as a club hit just .215/~.284/.287. With the Savannah Sand Gnats of 2004, the Oregonian burst out with a .286/.337/.474 line, 35 doubles, 16 homers and 88 RBI. He led Expos minor leaguers in total bases (229) and doubles. Moved from the outfield to third base, he struggled mightily with the glove, fielding only .870 and leading the South Atlantic League with 35 errors.
In 2005, Kory was named the Washington Nationals Minor League Player of the Year. He led the system in runs scored (86), walks (84) and RBI (90) while chipping in 22 home runs and 36 doubles. Playing for the Potomac Cannons, he made the Carolina League All-Star team for his offense and defense, with his fielding percentage improving significantly to .956. Baseball America named him the best defensive third baseman in the circuit as he led the league in fielding percentage, double plays (39) and assists (271), als rating him the league's 15th-best prospect and Washington's 5th best prospect. Moving up to the Harrisburg Senators, Kory repeated as Nats Minor League Player of the Year, hitting .272/.379/.468 with 84 runs scored, 80 RBI, 81 walks (tied for Eastern League lead with Kurt Airoso) and 20 home runs in 2006. Two troublesome points were his 104 strikeouts and his .189 average against southpaws. He moved back to the outfield during the season as Ryan Zimmerman was now the Nationals' third baseman for years to come. Casto led the Nationals farm system in runs scored, hits (142), total bases (243), RBI, walks, OBP, slugging and extra-base hits (53), while tying Josh Whitesell for the Senators home run lead (21). Despite moving back to the outfield for a chunk of the season, he still led EL third basemen in double plays (21). Casto was rated the EL's 14th best prospect by Baseball America, one spot behind Kevin Kouzmanoff, and he made the league All-Star team in the outfield, earning EL Rookie of the Year honors. Baseball America determined Kory's to be the best strike zone discipline of all Eastern Leaguers.
Casto made his MLB debut on April 3, 2007 in the Nats' 9-3 loss to the Florida Marlins. He picked up his first big league hit in that game, but only played 16 games as a rookie, batting .130/.158/.167 in 54 at bats. The bulk of his season was spent with the AAA Columbus Clippers, where he hit .246 in 114 games with 20 doubles and 11 homers. He was back at Columbus to start the 2008 season, but got a call back to Washington after he hit .308 with 6 homers in 33 games. With the Nats, he did better than a year prior, but still only hit .215/.297/.313 with 2 homers and 16 RBI in 66 games. In 2009, Casto played for the Syracuse Chiefs, who were now Washington's AAA affiliate; in 126 games, he hit .271/.334/.378. That was not enough to get another look in the bigs, and he became a free agent after the season. Kory signed with the Detroit Tigers for 2010 but was released at the end of spring training. The Arizona Diamondbacks picked him up, but he was not even considered good enough for their AAA team; he played 45 games with the AA Mobile Bay Bears, where he played 45 games, hitting .251/.358/.431. On July 31st, he retired.