After two weeks of minor league activity, the Red Sox have deemed $72M Cuban import Rusney Castillo ready for Major League action and the bright lights of Boston.
A recent report stated that Castillo would make his Red Sox debut tomorrow night in a 7:05 showing with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the opener of a three-game series against the Bucs. Castillo is expected to play out the rest of the season, which is only four series (hard to believe, I know!), and hopefully give the Red Sox a glimpse of the obvious talent which persuaded them to sign him to the largest deal that a Cuban defector has ever received.
Despite standing at only 5’8″, Castillo has a potentially intriguing power-speed combination which could make him, at 27 years old, a very valuable commodity for years to come. While his speed is for real and should make him a great defensive center fielder, however, reports on his hitting have varied widely.
Scouts have pegged his power at a number of different level, ranging from 20-home run power that could make him one of the better hitting center fielders in the game to as low as single-digit home runs, which would make him profile closer to average offensively. His hit tool is generally highly-regarded though, and he is expected to fit in well at the top of the Red Sox lineup, filling the void left by Jacoby Ellsbury in both center field and the leadoff spot.
Four series won’t be enough to accurately asses Castillo’s future impact on the Red Sox; however, some success would go a long way towards establishing himself as a fixture of the team in the eyes of fans, in addition to providing him with some confidence going into next season. That success will hopefully start tomorrow as he’ll begin a highly-anticipated career under the lights in Pittsburgh.