Rusney Castillo Impresses In Showcase

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo put on a showcase yesterday that was ultimately said to be watched by scouts from 28 of the league’s 30 clubs, according to Walter Villa of Baseball America, who provides a robust account of the day.

While scouts offered slightly differing takes, as might be expected, the workout did little to dampen the growing hype surrounding Castillo. At the dish, Castillo showed surprising power and swung well against live pitching from Nate Carter (a D-II closer). His speed rated as anywhere from very good to outstanding and he showed an average big league arm from the outfield (“his weakest tool,” according to one scout). Though Castillo looked promising enough at short, Villa says that his future still seems to lie in the outfield, where he may be capable of manning center.

All in all, Castillo seems to have left the impression that he is a major league talent. It remains to be seen how his market will develop, but Ken Davidoff of the New York Post notes that the Yankees had four sets of eyes in the stands, with the Red Sox sending five. Agent Brodie Van Wagenen said that he believes “a lot of teams may view [Castillo] as a trade-deadline-type acquisition, and that he could be playing in a pennant race in September.”

Given the 27-year-old’s wide potential market, and the fact that he might be a contributor for a contender, the bidding will be fascinating to watch. One scout tells Davidoff that he thinks Castillo will land between $25MM and $35MM, while another said that he could reach Yasiel Puig territory ($42MM), even if he is not viewed as that level of talent.

57 Responses to Rusney Castillo Impresses In Showcase Leave a Reply

  1. Colin Jaffe 11 months ago

    “the Yankees had four eyes in the stands, with the Red Sox sending five.”

    Each team sent two scouts, with Boston adding a pirate.

  2. Justin Cox 11 months ago

    The Red Sox apparently employ a one- or three-eyed scout.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      I thought the same thing. You’ve gotta hope it’s a three eyed one. One eyed scouts don’t have depth perception.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 11 months ago

      The phrasing relates to how the industry values the scouts’ abilities. A single individual can have any number of eyes.

      Mercy, edited.

  3. nsbombers 11 months ago

    I think its a joke this player could command a contract like that.

  4. briankoke 11 months ago

    Come on Padres. This is exactly the type of risk they should take. Many of these guys end up being great deals. They need bats in the worst way and you don’t lose a draft pick to sign this guy.

    • Beersy 11 months ago

      I couldn’t agree with you more and this would be a great way for the “new ownership” to show the fans they actually want to try to build a winner. It would also be a nice precursor for an AJ Preller hiring.

    • Chioakcisco 11 months ago

      Well they did take a risk on Despaigne and it’s worked out pretty well…I wouldn’t put this kind of move above them.

  5. Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

    Even at 42 million for a solid everyday outfielder this would be a steal. Although I guess that largely depends on the length of the contract. Some risk sure, but you don’t have to give up any prospects, and the Red Sox have absolutely no one in the upper minors for outfielders.

    • RahZid 11 months ago

      Admittedly they’re still learning the OF, but I wouldn’t call Mookie Betts (AAA) or Garin Cecchini (AAA) “no one”.

      That being said, I’d still be on board with the Red Sox signing this guy.

      • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

        Mookie Betts and Garin Cecchini are both infielders. And I think Cecchini has lost a lot of his luster.

        • RahZid 11 months ago

          They’re both moving to the OF. Mookie has 10 MLB games in the OF and 36 MiLB games in the OF compared to just 45 games at 2B this year. Cecchini’s played 15 games in the OF as he’s just started to transition.

          Agree to disagree on Cecchini’s luster. A half season of AAA doesn’t outweigh his entire MiLB career in my mind.

          • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

            They are both moving to the outfield sure, but Betts looked uncomfortable there at the major league level to say the least. I think he ends up back in the infield eventually. Cecchini started the year as the organizations 4th best prospect and is now ranked 13th. He doesn’t have the defensive ability to stick at third, and there is an extraordinary lack of depth in the outfield so he was moved there. Not exactly someone to have a ton of faith in as a prospect. Meanwhile he has maxed out at 7 hrs in the minors. Not exactly the type of bat you want out of a corner infielder or outfielder. He may turn it around sure, but he’s unlikely to develop a power stroke at 24.

          • RahZid 11 months ago

            Mookie was learning the position at the MLB level, of course he looked uncomfortable. The only way he moves back to the infield is if he or Pedroia get dealt, which I can’t see happening.

          • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

            I would actually like to see him get a try at shortstop which is neither here nor there. We need more power from the outfield, and I don’t think he’s that type of bat. I may be wrong, he may get right field when Victorino leaves at the end of next season. Which would give him plenty of time to get ready for it. But they’re playing him in center field in the minors. Or they may just be maximizing his value so they can trade him.

          • Bob Bunker 11 months ago

            I think you are being overly harsh on Cecchini based on one poor year. Still has the on base skills and plate displine the team loves and could develop power. Youkilis maxed out at 8 HR in the minors at the age of 26 and ended up hitting 25 to 30 in his prime.

          • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

            I’d say an inability to hit in AAA is a sign of dropping value in a prospect. And quite honestly all of his value lies in his ability to hit for average. If he doesn’t hit for average he doesn’t bring anything to the table. He could turn it around sure, but right now his stock has gone down a great deal since last year. He could turn it around sure, and he could hit for power too, but he could also drop off the map entirely.

          • Bob Bunker 11 months ago

            I don’t disagree his prospect status is diminished but I doubt he complexity lost his ability to hit and there are so many factors that could be causing less performance I think we should give him another year before deciding he can’t eventually help the big league team.

          • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

            Fair enough, but his presence doesn’t change my initial sentiment that we lack legit outfield prospects in the minors. I’ll give you Betts, but I’m not sold on Cecchini either as an outfielder or someone that has any potential to hit for power.

  6. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

    while another said that he could reach Yasiel Puig territory ($42MM), even if he is not viewed as that level of talent.
    Well, that’s because at the very least, he doesn’t have Puig’s arm. Not many people do for that matter. However, I want to know how Castillo would rank against Coco Crisp. To me that is how he would rank, however he is not as tall as Coco.
    However, if he ranks favorably against Coco and I am the Orioles.
    I would give David Lough the heave-ho so fast and sign Castillo so fast, it would make your head swim!

    • $21621694 11 months ago

      Good comparison. Although Castillo has a lot more power than Coco

    • basemonkey 11 months ago

      It’s the arm and power that probably puts him behind Puig, I’d guess. If he’s a starting caliber LF, I’d take him without thinking twice.

      The Os would love to have this supposed type of speed game. The Os have some fast players, but they are all solid guys, and have some kind of blemish that holds them back from maximizing the value of that speed. If the Os could add some contact, OBP, and speed game types, it would unlock their power offense into a more multi-dimensional one.

  7. MaineSkin 11 months ago

    Come on Os!!!

  8. SwingtimeInTheRockies 11 months ago

    My fear is the Rockies were one of the two clubs that had better things to do than attend.

  9. Jonathan Barlock 11 months ago


    • GD 11 months ago

      Irritates me that Seattle wasn’t in on Puig or Cespedes or even Abreu. All three I wanted in Seattle before they signed.

      Seattle has GOT TO DO THIS this time! They have the money, and they are having trouble landing offense like Kemp, Rios, Byrd.

      Any offense castillo can provide will be an improvement!

      • King Kyle 11 months ago

        Wasn’t in on isn’t the same as not signing a player. Who knows how much interest the Mariners did or didn’t have in them, it ultimately comes down to where the player wants to go

      • Jonathan Barlock 11 months ago

        I agree, even though he has no mlb exp. I think he would be a better fit than Matt Kemp who the Mariners seems to fancy

  10. stl_cards16 11 months ago

    Just going off of who could use outfield help the least, I’ll guess the Cardinals and Dodgers were the two missing.

  11. RahZid 11 months ago

    “…while another said that he could reach Yasiel Puig territory ($42MM), even if he is not viewed as that level of talent.:

    In fairness, Puig wasn’t even considered a Puig like talent coming out of Cuba.

    • DieHardMsFan 11 months ago

      He was considered to have more potential than Cespedes however.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 11 months ago

      Certainly true; I think most were surprised the Dodgers gave him that much, though perhaps the upside was always there (dude obviously showed all the power/speed/etc that he is now putting to use in MLB games).

      I read the quote as relating to the upside, not necessarily the bottom-line value of the players at the point of signing. After all, their circumstances are rather different — Puig was much younger, Castillo seems to be viewed as a more-or-less straight-to-the-bigs kind of guy.

  12. OriginalHitman 11 months ago

    C’mon Mets, surprise me!

    • Light_tower_power 11 months ago

      The Mets are willing to go 5 years. 500,000

    • guccci7383 11 months ago

      wilpon aint putting out the cash to land him… no shot. as a mets fan we got a better shot starting a kik fund to land him

      • OriginalHitman 11 months ago

        I know, hence “Surprise me!”

        They wanna call Colorado about Tulo and such, so let’s see them try to fill a void here & now.

        • guccci7383 11 months ago

          the mets will trade some picthing for a power bat, who do u want them to target and what picthers get moved

          • OriginalHitman 11 months ago

            My prime target is SS Javier Baez of the Cubs. Have to believe they’ll want Syndergaard back, but I’d pull the trigger. It’s something I’ve wanted to see since last winter. With the way Wheeler is developing, I’m feeling more comfortable moving Syndergaard. If the Mets DO sign Castillo, they’ll be in great shape going forward with Herrera coming along fast to take over 2B.

          • guccci7383 11 months ago

            just read baez had 44 errors last yr..ouch. but hes playing 2nd base now he might be the cubs 2nd basemen of the future… you like starlin castro any

          • OriginalHitman 11 months ago

            Not impressed by Castro’s defense & his occasional lapses. Seeing Murphy’s lapses is painful enough. I’m not worried about Baez’s errors. Many young SS’s accumulate tons of errors. Jeter had a ton of errors when he started out.

  13. liberalconservative 11 months ago

    Welcome to Oakland. With the low payroll and a team with Cespedes the A’s will sign him.

  14. Ray Koenig 11 months ago

    Have to believe the Dodgers can print some more money for him.

    • Light_tower_power 11 months ago

      The last thing the Dodgers need is another outfielder

      • Ray Koenig 11 months ago

        Need has nothing to do with the way the Dodgers spend.

  15. phillyinatlanta 11 months ago

    this guy fits everything the phillies need. if they sent a scout i will be kinda surprised we have not had an impact player from the international market in a while. but i guess amaro is still shell shocked from MAG.

  16. StevenP2204 11 months ago

    Please come replace DeAza… Let Viciedo be the 4th outfielder/rotating DH next year if you choose to keep him. I’d love another speed guy in the lineup/outfield with Eaton.

  17. AstrosWS20 11 months ago

    Come on Astros! Gotta recover from the prospects you lost over the Aiken deal. Get this guy!

  18. dave.huckleberry 11 months ago

    It said 4 “sets” of eyes, not 4 eyes or 5 eyes. Jokes on you Colin. Read closely.

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