Ofilio Antonio Castro Lechado
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 160 lb.
Ofilio Castro peaked at AAA, one of the first Nicaraguan position players to make it that high.
Castro signed with the Montréal Expos in late 2000. He debuted as a pro with the 2001 DSL Expos, hitting .181/.330/.213. He played short for the Nicaraguan national team in the 2001 Central American Games, winning Gold; he got his break when Edgard Lopez skipped the tournament. He followed with a .263/.411/.340 campaign in 2002 and then was with Nicaragua for the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games. In 2003, Castro came stateside and struggled mightily ,hitting only .152/.226/.176. He played for Nicaragua in the 2003 Baseball World Cup, backing up Lopez at shortstop. He was 0 for 2 and handled one chance (an assist) in 2 2/3 innings spread out over 3 games.
Castro split 2004 between the Vermont Expos (.261/.364/.365) and Savannah Sand Gnats (.189/.184/.243). With Vermont, his 45 putouts led New York-Penn League third basemen. In 2005, the Nicaraguan infielder hit .261/.337/.362 for Savannah, followed by .253/.342/.346 for the same club in 2006. He helped Nicaragua take the Gold in the 2006 Central American Games and was picked as the All-Star shortstop.
In 2007, Castro split time between the Potomac Cannons (.304/.359/.369 in 55 games) and the Harrisburg Senators (.254/.336/.305 in 57 games). He made the mid-season Carolina League All-Star game. Castro played for three clubs in 2008, appearing with Potomac (.236/.250/.291 in 13 games), Harrisburg (.277/.328/.379 in 108) and the AAA Columbus Clippers (.256/.327/.326 in 14). At the time, no Nicaraguan infielder had made the majors, though Everth Cabrera would do so in 2009. He fielded .965 at third base for Harrisburg, leading Eastern League players at the hot corner. He played for Nicaragua in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup and made the tournament All-Star team at second base after hitting .480/.536/.640 and handling 36 chances without an error; he had 7 runs and 7 RBI in 8 games. He was 3rd in average, 9th in slugging, 5th in OBP, tied for 2nd in hits (12), tied for 5th in RBI and tied for 6th in runs.
The Managua native spent all of 2009 with Harrisburg, batting .296/.372/.395. Had he qualified, he would have made the EL top 10 in average. He fielded .986 at second base, which was his main spot that year. He ended his decade in the Expos chain by hitting .209/.287/.270 for the 2010 Senators, fielding .977 at 3B. In 2011, he played in Nicaragua and set a league record with 38 intentional walks. Playing 2B, SS and 3B for Nicaragua in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he was 3 for 18 with two walks and two runs but played error-free ball (10 PO, 11 A).
Returning to the US in 2012 with the Sugar Land Skeeters, he produced at a .306/.376/.389 clip with 66 runs and 54 walks while fielding .977 at third. He was 2 for 8 for Nicaragua in the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers and had one of their three RBI (Cheslor Cuthbert and Renato Morales had the others). He helped Nicaragua win the 2013 Central American Games, doubling in Jilton Calderón with the winner in the finale against rival Panama. In '13, he hit .290/.372/.321 for the York Revolution and fielded .989 at short. He did not fare as well for York in 2014, with a batting line of .247/.295/.298. In the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, he batted .273/.304/.409 with a team-high three doubles and four RBI to tie Ramón Flores for the team lead. He played error-free ball between 2B (split with Ronald Garth) and 3B (split with Darrell Campbell). He led second basemen in the event with 25 error-free chances. He had two runs and a RBI in an upset of the defending champion Dominican national team then drove in 3 to beat Panama. Nicaragua won a Silver Medal, their best finish in the event in 16 years.
Castro hit .383/.463/.487 for Dantos in Nicaragua in 2015. In the 2015 Pan American Games, he split 3B with Campbell again while sharing shortstop with Iván Marín; he hit .238/.333/.381 and scored a team-high four runs in six games, while fielding .947. His big hit was a two-run homer off Cuba's Freddy Asiel Álvarez. In 2016, he batted .415/.494/.600 for Dantos with 33 doubles and 93 runs in 92 contests. He did not win the batting title (Morales edged him out by .002), runs (19 behind Juan Carlos Urbina) or doubles (two off the pace). He was 2 for 14 with a run in the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers but was not Nicaragua's weakest-hitting regular; Willie Vasquez fared worse.
In the 2017 Central American Games, the 34-year-old starred for the home crowd. He hit .471/.609/.529 with 5 runs and 7 RBI in five games in the round-robin phase; in the 2-1 win over Panama, he drove in Ismael Munguía with both Nicaraguan runs. He was 4th in average (between Edgar Muñoz and Gerald Chin), 2nd in OBP (.058 behind Campbell), tied Fabián Vizcaíno for 3rd in RBI and was 3rd in walks (6, behind Jose Medina and Ibrahim McKenzie). Hitting 3rd in the Gold Medal Game, he was 1 for 3 with a run in a 3-1 win over Panama.
More than two full decades after making his professional debut, he was still active, playing for the Nicaraguan national team in the 2020 Americas Olympics Qualifier, played in May/June 2021.