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.