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Rusney Castillo

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Rusney Castillo Peraza

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 170 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Rusney Castillo played for the Ciege de Avila Tigers before defecting from Cuba in early 2014.

Castillo debuted in 2008-2009 at age 22; he went 15 for 43 with 3 doubles, a triple and four walks. He fielded .911, backing up Mario Vega at second base and Adonis García at third. As a utility man in 2009-2010, he hit .303/.333/.404. He became the starting right fielder in 2010-2011 and responded with a .324/.373/.555 line. He hit 22 doubles and 18 homers, scored 75 runs and drove in 79 in 88 games. He was 10th in the Cuban Serie Nacional in RBI, tied Urmaris Guerra for 9th in total bases (202) and led with 29 steals, 6 more than runner-up Yoelvis Leyva. He was caught only six times. Surprisingly, he had only stolen successfully twice in eight tries over his first two campaigns.

In early 2014, he defected from Cuba and established residency in Haiti; he was cleared by the United States government to sign a contract in July, starting a bidding war among major league teams. 28 teams sent scouts to see him, and at least seven of them were willing to offer him big money. On August 22nd, it was reported that the Boston Red Sox had won the sweepstakes with a bid of $72.5 million over seven years, although the deal would not be made official for a few more days. It was the largest amount paid to sign an amateur player, topping the $68 million paid by the Chicago White Sox for 1B Jose Abreu a year earlier. Castillo was expected to make his big league debut before the end of the season, in spite of not playing competitively for a year and a half and indeed he made his big league debut on September 17th without having played a minor league game. He started in centerfield for the Red Sox that day, batting 7th, and went 1 for 4 in a 9-1 loss to the Pittsbugh Pirates. His first big league hit was a 4th-inning single off Francisco Liriano.

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