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September 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The Write-Up: Rusney Castillo

In this edition of The Write-Up, Chaz Fiorino gives his initial thoughts on new Red Sox signee Rusney Castillo.

Player: Rusney Castillo
Team: Pawtucket Red Sox
Bats/Throws: R/R
DOB: 09/07/1987 (Age 27)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 205

Scout: Chaz Fiorino
Dates Scouted: 9/9/14 – 9/10/14
Stat line: 2 for 8, 2K, 1 BB, 1CS, 0 XBH

Physical Description: Short, strong, lean, athletic build. Maxed out physically. According to Baseball America, he has put on 20 pounds of muscle since defecting from Cuba.

Hitting Mechanics: Square stance, stands upright, feet shoulder-width apart. Hands in good position to hit. Bat points straight up, perpendicular to the ground. He loads by lifting his front heel off the ground with his toes pointing down, generating power and torque in his lower half. Uses a short stride. Line-drive swing with slight uphill plane. Length in swing. Solid bat control.

Category                     Present       Future
Hitting Ability               45                 50
Comments: Plus batspeed. Hands are quick through the zone. Wants to hit; aggressive first-pitch swinger. Expands the zone, but knows what he can handle. Pull hitter. Future .255-.274 average.

Power                              50                50
Comments: Not on display in limited look. Max-effort swing. Strong for his size. His obvious strength generates his batspeed. Had a couple of hard-hit balls. Potential 15-19 home run power. Power most likely to manifest as line drive doubles to the gaps rather than home runs.

Running Speed              70                 70
Comments: Type of speed that makes the defense rush. Light on his feet, accelerates quickly. Aggressive and energetic on the bases; clearly looking to run. He is a threat to steal every time.  4.1 times to first in Cuba according to Baseball America.

Arm Strength
                 50                 50

Comments: Not on display in limited look. Average at best from what I have heard and what has been reported.

Fielding                           60                 60
Comments: Not on display in limited look. Plus speed and athleticism should allow him to cover plenty of ground.  Won a gold-glove in Cuba. 

: Rusney Castillo gave a small glimpse in this limited look at the type of player that he could be offensively and the impact he could have on the basepaths. Offensively, Castillo was aggressive and first-pitch swinging in five of his nine plate appearances.  He is a high-energy player who goes up looking to hit and put a charge into the ball. He expanded the zone on a couple occasions while chasing balls out of the zone, but it looks like he has an idea of what he can and cannot handle. He is not an overly aggressive, free swinger, per se, and did not really chase anything that was way out of the zone or in the dirt.

In his first Triple-A at-bat, Castillo was ahead in a 2-1 count. He then chased, and swung and missed through, a change-up away off the plate. With the count 2-2, he was caught looking on a fastball down the middle of the plate. His first two at-bats resulted in strikeouts, while his next two resulted in hard-hit balls to the left side. His swing has clear strength and quickness through the zone, generating great batspeed. The swing is a bit long, and his approach is geared to pull the ball. In these nine plate appearances, Castillo pulled the ball to the left side on five occasions while popping up to the right side on his only other ball in play.

Castillo’s best tool is his speed. He is a plus-plus runner who will be a threat to steal every time if given the chance. However, he was caught stealing in his one attempt on a great throw by Durham catcher Ali Solis. He makes the infield defense have to rush and should pick up a nice share of infield hits throughout his career. Castillo is aggressive with his leads at first and just looks like a guy ready to run. 

Photo credit: Rusney Castillo by Kelly O'Connor

Chaz Fiorino is a Northeast Scout for SoxProspects.com. He is a graduate of the MLB Scout Development Program. Follow him on Twitter @cbfiorino.