Rusney Castillo has appeared in exactly 11 career minor league games, none of them in the regular season. He appeared in two games in the complex level Gulf Coast League playoffs where he helped the Red Sox win the title. He then jumped to Double-A Portland, and after they were eliminated moved up to Triple-A. For Pawtucket, he played five games, helping them to the International League title and, despite his first pro home run coming Tuesday night, came just short of the Triple-A national title.
Castillo signed a $72+ million dollar contract through the 2020 season with the Boston Red Sox in late August, making him the latest Cuban defector to get big money. Given he is an outfielder, he will all too often get compared to Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, and Jorge Soler, but those comps may not be so accurate.
Cespedes is the smallest and lightest of the three big Cuban outfielders, standing 5’10” and weighting 210 lbs., while Castillo is listed as an inch shorter and five pounds lighter, but reports are he looks smaller than that.
The three Cuban outfielders that came before Castillo are all solid power options, but Castillo’s real strengths come in his speed and defense. He is widely given a 70 speed grade and above average to plus grades on his defense, making him a real center field option.
Castillo will in fact make stateside, regular-season, debut tonight, and it will come in the big leagues, as he is expected to start in center field for the Boston Red Sox. He is a typical Cuban at the plate, in that he is very aggressive and patience is not exactly his strong suit, but he could hit for an alright average and potentially flirt with 20 home runs in a full season.
He is 27 years old, so he is not a young prospect, but a good couple weeks and he could easily secure the center field spot come opening day 2015 and be an impact player right from the start.