Phillies in on Rusney Castillo sweepstakes


Jul 25, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. walks the field while talking on the phone during batting practice before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Rusney Castillo might be the next Cuban-born player to wow Major League Baseball.  The Phillies, like many teams in baseball, are attending his workouts and hoping he might be the real deal.

The Phillies haven’t made any big splashes in the trade game yet this summer so perhaps acquiring Castillo is a part of the plan to retool.  Castillo is an outfielder who can hit for power, something the Phillies currently lack.  It won’t be easy making a strong case to get him with scouts across the country flocking to see his skills, but the Phillies appear interested.

As CSN’s Jim Salisbury reports, the Phillies are among teams who seek private workouts with Castillo.

Conflicting reports list Castillo somewhere around 5-foot-8 and 170-205 pounds.  On Saturday, scouts got a look at him at the University of Miami.  He ran a 60-yard dash in about 6.5 seconds.  Castillo also showcased his defensive abilities in both the outfield and infield.  It appears while he is predominately an outfielder, he also has experience as a utility infielder.  There were 28 teams grading his ability on Saturday and four, including the Phillies, are hoping to take a closer look in private workouts.

Six months ago Castillo left Cuba and stayed in Haiti until the United States government cleared him to sign with a team.  Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports is the agency representing him.

The Phillies signed a Cuban talent almost a year ago in Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.  The hard-throwing righty signed a deal last August and is thought  to become a starter despite his current role as a reliever.  He throws can throw a 97 mph fastball along with a curve, slider and change-up.  He was promoted to Double-A Reading from Class-A Clearwater earlier at the beginning of July.