Rusney Castillo: Boston’s Jack Of All Trades
by Matt Cote | Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
He’s played ten games in the majors but it’s hard to consider Boston Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo a prospect. The 27 year old Cuban signed a seven year deal with the Red Sox in late August and blazed through their system to finish the season in Boston. In ten games with the Red Sox, Castillo slugged two home runs, drove in six runs and stole three bases. With a star studded lineup surrounding Castillo, he should have an excellent year in 2015.
Castillo is a rare breed, a player who has good power and is an above average base runner and defender. It was this special set of skills that caused the Red Sox to offer him $72.5 million over seven years. Castillo played in the Arizona Fall League and was excelling before an injury cut it short. Castillo then went to play Winter Ball in Puerto Rico. It was there that he received rave reviews from former Major League Alex Cora.
Cora says of Castillo [quote]”He’s not a prima donna. He’s a hard worker with great passion. Red Sox fans are going to like him. He’s going to OK there.”[/quote]
Castillo should be the Red Sox opening day centerfielder, he has dynamic speed which would play well at the top of the lineup. However, it is more likely that the combination of Mookie Betts and Shane Victorino are penciled in the lead off spot. Castillo is projected to bat in the 7 hole with Betts, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and Mike Napoli providing a massive amount of protection for Castillo. However he may just be the most important piece of the lineup.
To quote Reggie Jackson: [quote] “Castillio is the straw that stirs the drink. If he can play up to his potential than the Red Sox offense will be lethal.” [/quote]
While his stay in majors has been short and many may not have had a chance to watch him play, I can tell you he is worth the price of admission. In all my years watching baseball I have never truly seen a player who can change the game in so many ways (Perhaps with the exception of Mike Trout).
In late September, I had the opportunity to watch him play live at Fenway Park. He hit a home run against the Rays that night and I have never once heard the crack of the ball against the bat quite that loud. Castillo can beat you in just so many ways that it is going to be difficult for other teams to develop ways to get him out. If he does not make the All Star team this season than this author will be very surprised. Rusney Castillo is ready, Boston has itself a future superstar.
Those number 38 jerseys will be a more common sight in Boston than a Samuel Adams in a few years. Get ready American League, Rusney is here.
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