CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury reports industry sources do not believe the Phillies are a top candidate to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who is expected to narrow the list of teams he wants to sign with soon. While the report indicates the team is not a top candidate, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has remained in contact with Castillo's representatives. Philadelphia held a private workout for Castillo at the end of July.
Castillo, who turned 27 in June, is an intriguing prospect and put on a show last week at his showcase. The 5'9", 205 lbs. outfielder, who prefers to play centerfield, did everything from fielding to hitting to throwing to running. Baseball America reported some scouts had his speed at an 80 on the 20-80 scale while others had him around 60. Either way, speed is definitely a plus for Castillo.
Something Phillies fans are certainly going to zero in on is his arm. Of all of his tools, one scout said his arm is his weakest tool but it is still an average Major League arm. In conclusion, it is better than Ben Revere's.
The thing that really jumped out to a lot of scouts was Castillo's batting practice. He took is off a Division II pitcher but he still impressed with his power and his ability to drive the ball to the opposite field. The right-hander put a lot of questions to bed about his hitting and had one critical scout leaving the workout saying, "He's a major league player."
The Phillies interest in Castillo seemed genuine for obvious reasons. Everything from his showcase screams the righty is likely an improvement over Ben Revere in centerfield. He is not expected to be an impact player like Yoenis Cespedes or Yasiel Puig but that doesn't mean he couldn't be a difference-maker in Philadelphia.
The Phillies dipped into the international market last summer with their signing of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez but that has been a rocky relationship to start so the Phillies not pursuing for Castillo is not much of a surprise.
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