Boston Red Sox Report Cards: Outfielder Rusney Castillo
By Hunter Noll
The BoSox Injection crew grades the 2018 season for each member of the Boston Red Sox, we’re moving on with outfielder Rusney Castillo.
Rusney Castillo never made it to the Majors in 2018. Despite that, it was absolutely a positive season for the outfielder. He spent the season with the Boston Red Sox team in Triple-A, putting up fantastic numbers.
For the second straight season in Pawtucket, Rusney Castillo hit will over .300. In 2018 he boasted a .319/.360/.416 slash line over 474 at-bats (his most ever in a season). His batting average led the team, while his .360 OBP was second best only to Tzu-Wei Lin (.362 in 49 less games).
Castillo also led Pawtucket in doubles (31) and steals (13) as well as RBI (59) and runs scored (56). He did all of this while playing above average defense in center field (and some right field).
Despite the fantastic play, the 31-year-old didn’t see the Majors due to his contract. If he was called up the Red Sox would’ve seen their draft pick drop 10 slots. That seems like a hefty price for a backup outfielder. With that in mind, it seemed like the only way Boston would call him up would be injuries.
That all changed of course, when the Red Sox traded for Ian Kinsler. Kinsler pushed the Red Sox over the highest tax threshold – meaning that any more money spent really meant nothing to Boston.
Despite that, Castillo still wasn’t brought into the equation – even during the October call-ups.
Still. It’s hard not to see this season as a massive positive. Castillo saw the most playing time of his career while posting new bests in average and doubles, as well as RBI and runs scored.
If he saw the Majors this year, the grade would definitely be somewhere in the “A”s. Even without a trip to Boston though there was plenty to like. He may never be the player everyone was hoping for when he first signed, but this was clearly another massive step in the right direction.
Looking Ahead to 2019
Rusney Castillo’s also in a much better spot with the Red Sox. They’ve shown that they’re willing to go over the threshold if it will lead to winning. With a few contracts off the books, he might be more available to the team anyways.
As most people probably know at this point, I’m a major advocate for Castillo. His numbers with Boston aren’t nearly as bad as many people seem to think they are. Meanwhile, his numbers in Triple-A have been extremely encouraging. With that in mind, maybe 2019 is the season we see Castillo back with the Red Sox.