Sep 26, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo (38) hits a double during the sixth inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
The mantra from the recent and latest “Great Recession” was some are “Too big to fail.” The same can apply to baseball when a player has demonstrated the physical tools, yet seems a step behind than a step ahead. This is Rusney Castillo.
The Red Sox gave Castillo enough money to put a healthy down payment on the purchase of his hometown of Ciego de Avila, Cuba or maybe even Havana itself? So far the returns have been questionable.
Now 28-years-old, Castillo is coming off what should have been a breakout season with even the possibility of being Rookie of The Year. The slash line was .253/.288/.359 with five home runs and 29 RBI in 80 games. Not bad numbers until you realize that the Red Sox paid north of 11 million for it.
Watching Castillo it seems his swing had more holes than a Prairie Dog colony. The deeper stats show a 18.7 K% and a dismal 4.5% BB%. A wRC+ of 72 and the mean is 100. The WAR is barely above null at 0.4. A redeeming feature is a UZR/150 at 19.2.
Castillo seemed to have a knack for playing left field at Fenway Park. However, that should be tempered since anything was an improvement over Hanley Ramirez. There are seals at the New England Aquarium who could navigate the field with ease compared to the mysteries Hanley presented.
So start from the top. The defense is no issue. You will get the occasional mind-boggling attempts, but overall Castillo can handle the field. Now for the hitting.
Castillo hit in Cuba, Arizona Fall League, Winter Ball, Pawtucket, International play and even briefly in Boston in 2014. I expect that to surface and now for the prediction: Look for Rusney to hit .290 and go 20+ in home runs.