Rusney Castillo was once the most highly touted prospect coming out of Cuba. The outfielder from Ciego de Ávila, Cuba wowed scouts so much during his showcases that he signed with the Boston RedSox for a record 72.5 million in 2014. Castillo was projected to be a five tool player and breezed through the minors with the BoSox, making his debut late in 2014 hitting .333, driving in six runs and going yard twice.
That set the bar high for the outfielder coming into 2015. Although he started the season at Pawtucket (AAA) he was called up in May and in 80 games with the big club underwhelmed hitting .253 with five dingers and 29 runs batted in, in total the Cuban hit .262 with seven longballs and 35 RBI’s during his time on the grand stage. With such top notch prospects as Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi waiting in the wings the Antillean fell out of favor, was removed from the 40 man roster and relegated to the minors for the rest of his career with the team.
During his time on the farm Castillo was the batting champion in 2018 with Pawtucket and an All-Star in the International League. In fact during his five seasons in Pawtucket ( 2015-2019) he hit .293 with 42 homers 217 runs batted in, yet never earned another call up again. In the opinion of some he best years were wasted unjustly in minors by Boston.
Between 2021 and 2022 Castillo made stops in the NPB (Rakuten Eagles), Washington Nationals (Spring Training) and the Atlantic League (Staten Island,Long Island) with mixed results and always giving a glimmer of his immense talent yet never living up to expectations. This season at the age of 35 he has been given the opportunity to resurrect his career with the Mariachis de Guadalajara of the Mexican League.
If Castillo makes the club he will once again enter a league with high expectations and the chance to show why he was so highly touted when he left Cuba. How this story will end is all up to Rusney Castillo and how much he has left in the tank.