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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Badler: Defection Of Top Cuban Outfielder Rusney Castillo Could Shake Up Free Agent Market

Another one of Cuba’s best players has left the island, the latest in a wave of defections that isn’t expected to slow down.

Rusney Castillo, a 26-year-old center fielder who had been one of the top players in Cuba, has left the country to pursue a contract with a major league team, Baseball America has learned.

Castillo has played five seasons for Ciego de Avila in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional, so he will be able to sign as a free agent exempt from the international signing bonus pools.

That process could still take several months, since Castillo will have to establish residency in another country, have Major League Baseball declare him a free agent and the U.S. government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) clear him to sign. Once that process is complete, Castillo should draw interest as a free agent who could either go straight to the majors or get a tuneup in Triple-A before moving up.

Castillo is short but has a strong, athletic frame at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds. His best tool is his speed, as he’s an above-average runner and one of the better base stealers in Cuba. More of a doubles hitter than a big home run threat, Castillo puts a charge into the ball with a line-drive righthanded swing, though he can get long to the ball at times and some scouts think he’s prone to chasing pitches off the plate. Primarily a center fielder in Cuba, Castillo has also played some second and third base, so his versatility could be a draw for some teams. He’s an aggressive, high-energy player, though some teams see him as a fourth outfielder.

When Yoenis Cespedes was in Cuba, Cespedes was the star center fielder on the Cuban national team, with Leonys Martin the up-and-comer. With Cespedes and Martin gone, Castillo stepped in as Cuba’s national team center fielder at the World Cup in October 2011 in Panama. Castillo was a standout at the tournament, hitting .512/.524/.854 in 10 games, going 21-for-41 with two home runs, two triples, four doubles, one walk and two strikeouts. He made the tournament’s all-star team after leading the World Cup in batting average and slugging while ranking fourth in on-base percentage.

H/T Calcaterra

JE (Jason) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 11:04 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: centerfielders, cuba, cuban baseball

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4645128)
Sounds like a good fit for the Yankees and a wonderful opportunity for Castillo. I'm sure Mr. Cashman is monitoring the situation with the Young Masters.
   2. Willie Mayspedester Posted: January 23, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4645131)
He'll be a great replacement for Coco Crisp. Beane really knows how to get the Cubans.
   3. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 23, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4645136)
He sounds like the second coming of John Cangelosi. I miss that guy!
   4. steagles Posted: January 23, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4645138)
so, this is a 26 year old centerfielder who doesn't walk, doesn't hit HRs, and has never played in north america? sounds promising.
   5. GregD Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4645142)
has never played in north america
Quick quiz: What continent includes Cuba?
   6. JRVJ Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4645147)
Teams with $$$ should be jumping on guys like Castillo. This means the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Phillies, the Cubs and (if only because of how much ROOM they have on their payroll), the Astros.

He only costs money, and all of the aforementioned teams HAVE money.
   7. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4645151)
has never played in north america

Quick quiz: What continent includes Cuba?


Is Mexico a continent?
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4645157)
Is Mexico a continent?

No, but I think the Carribbean is.
   9. OCF Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4645162)
What's that soccer regional acronym? CONCACAF, or did I misspell that? Maybe STEAGLES could have made his point by saying Organized Baseball.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4645177)
He only costs money, and all of the aforementioned teams HAVE money.


I only cost money too.
   11. ursus arctos Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4645179)
9, you got it right.

The Confederation Of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football
   12. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4645182)
The Confederation Of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football

It just rolls off the tongue...
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4645186)
The Confederation Of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football of Anaheim


   14. Bug Selig Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4645204)
13 is AWESOME!
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4645218)
13 is AWESOME!

Concur. LAA jokes always make me laugh.

I love that their name (if expressed all in English) is "The The Angels Angels of Anaheim"
   16. Greg K Posted: January 23, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4645225)
I love that their name (if expressed all in English) is "The The Angels Angels of Anaheim"


Almost as great an organization as the Low Cal Calzone Zone.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4645235)
Almost as great an organization as the Low Cal Calzone Zone.

Is that really a thing? If so, awesome!
   18. Greg K Posted: January 23, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4645245)
Is that really a thing? If so, awesome!

Unfortunately, it is just a dream for now
   19. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 23, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4645247)
Is Mexico a continent?

If you drink the water, it's incontinent.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: January 23, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4645248)
The description sounds like Pedroia or Puckett as an upside. Could be worse.
   21. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: January 23, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4645259)
Is that really a thing? If so, awesome!

Unfortunately, it is just a dream for now

Anyone for a game of Cones of Dunshire?
   22. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4645288)
Quick quiz: What continent includes Cuba?


Can I get away with claiming that Cuba is not on a continent at all? The island of Cuba is very close to the land mass "North America," but it's basically out in the ocean.
   23. AROM Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4645296)
From Merriam Webster:

Continent:

"one of the great divisions of land (such as North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, or Antarctica) of the Earth"

I agree with #22. Islands are generally not a part of any continent. Though Britain is considered part of Europe and Japan part of Asia. It would be silly to call Hawaii part of any particular continent. Cuba's status could be up for debate.
   24. OCF Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4645333)
Geologically, continents are considered to include their continental shelves, which would make islands on those shelves part of the continent. That reasoning would make the British Isles part of Europe. Also, New Guinea would be part of Australia and the Falklands/Malvinas would be part of South America. But that would not make Japan part of Asia and it would not make Cuba part of North America - there's a deep water channel in between. But of course if you're going to be geological: Eurasia is one continent (with Arabia and India separately moving parts). There is no geological reason for drawing some arbitrary line across Eurasia and calling it two continents. That line is cultural. Cultural considerations would assign Japan to Asia, Iceland to Europe, and Cuba to, well, "the Americas." Then, culture can change a lot faster than geology.
   25. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4645344)
But what zip code is Cuba in?
   26. villageidiom Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4645354)
Almost as great an organization as the Low Cal Calzone Zone.
I read about that on the Bob Loblaw Law Blog.
   27. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 23, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4645366)
Dear Rusna Castillo,


I would just like you to know if you sign with our organization, you can still represent the continent you love, because our team logos carry its name (minus the superfluous "A" your continents founders were silly enough to add to it).

Sincerely,

Theo Epstein, Esq.

Beantown Top ChowderHead Award Recipient, 2004, 2007
   28. Tim D Posted: January 23, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4645431)
Can't wait to see his training video.
   29. GregD Posted: January 23, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4645434)
Can I get away with claiming that Cuba is not on a continent at all? The island of Cuba is very close to the land mass "North America," but it's basically out in the ocean.
Every definition I've ever seen of North America includes Cuba, though since North America is a fictional construct, other non-Cuba definitions must exist. And if you like tectonics one section of Cuba lies within the Caribbean Plate but the majority is in the North American Plate
   30. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM (#4645438)
The Caribbean islands, or West Indies, are considered part of North America.


That's from the wikipedias. Also, Cuba is NOT on the Caribbean plate. So, now that we've got the geology sorted out, any baseball news today?
   31. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 23, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4645439)
Every definition I've ever seen of North America includes Cuba, though since North America is a fictional construct, other non-Cuba definitions must exist. And if you like tectonics one section of Cuba lies within the Caribbean Plate but the majority is in the North American Plate


I think you guys are confusing geography with geology. In both cases, Cuba is on the North American continent, though.

I can't get a link to Rusney's stas on cuban-play.com. Anyone have a link to his stats?

Edit: nevermind. It's here
   32. PreservedFish Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:28 AM (#4645460)
Is Key West on the continent of North America? Is Manhattan? Where do we draw the line???
   33. Gamingboy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4645464)
BTW, the baseball equivalent of CONCACAF is the Pan American Baseball Confederation AKA the Confederación Panamericana de Béisbol AKA COPABE.
   34. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4645466)
Is Key West on the continent of North America? Is Manhattan? Where do we draw the line???


Around Alabama.
   35. Hack Wilson Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4645513)
Eurasia is one continent (with Arabia and India separately moving parts)


What India did to Asia constitutes a common law marriage under canon law (and in Alabama).
   36. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4645518)
Is Key West on the continent of North America? Is Manhattan? Where do we draw the line???


Around Alabama.


I'd prefer a wall. To keep them from escaping.
   37. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4645617)
I'd prefer a wall. To keep them from escaping.


Give me fair warning first, if you please.

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