When your an actor in Hollywood or in this case Broadway you go to an initial audition and then, if the producers are impressed with you, you get a call back. For Cuban defector Rusney Castillo, his audition came on Saturday when the 27-year old right fielder/shortstop worked out in front of about 28 Major League teams and the Yankees were impressed enough to give him a call back.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Castillo will showcase his skills to representatives of the Yankees in a private facility hoping to receive a contract. At least two other teams, the Red Sox and Phillies will hold private workouts as well. A deal is expected to come within the next few weeks.
Castillo stands at 5’9″ 205 pounds and his game play is highlighted by his speed and has drawn comparisons to two current Yankees, left fielder Brett Gardner and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury in that department. But he’s said to possess surprising power that normally wouldn’t go along with his stocky frame.
If you’re a Yankees fan who’s been following Trade Deadline rumors the you know the Yankees need a right fielder with a strong bat. They’ve been connected with guys like Josh Willingham (Twins), Marlon Byrd (Phillies) and Alex Rios (Texas) and Castillo could serve the same purpose as those guys. Also, the fact that Castillo can play shortstop and a little bit of second base couldn’t hurt the Yankees either especially if they acquire another bat before the Deadline and have to shuffle positions more often.
His versatility puts him in the category of Ben Zoberist of the Rays, Skip Shoemaker of the Reds and Josh Harrison of the Pirates and that aspect in any player is valuable to an organization.
Castillo would require a few minor league at bats before he can come up to try and support the big league club down the stretch. If his bat is as good as reports say he’d be extremely valuable for the Yankees in right, shortstop or at second base. With Cuban players like Yoenis Cespedes (Oakland), Yasiel Puig (Dodgers) and Jose Abreu (White Sox) tearing up the sport of baseball the Yankees should really consider making a push for Castillo and try not to miss out on someone who could turn into a star like his fellow countrymen.
Castillo is represented by Roc Nation Sports… yeah that Roc Nation. Keep an eye on rumors surrounding Castillo as well as other Yankees trade rumors because there are more moves in the works for the New York Yankees