I’m back from my trip to Colombia, without dysentery to boot! Though, I’m not sure if ‘to boot’ is the right verb, if I have dysentery. Though, Part II, The Return Of Thoughs, I also haven’t seen a solid stool in about a week. “Hmm, that looks like bat signal.” That’s you looking in my toilet, taking a Rorschach test. Let’s start with what I said about Castillo when he was first called up, “Here’s what Prospect Mike said about Rusney Castillo previously, “The one tool that is not in question is (Rusney’s) speed. A 30+ steal season from Castillo is a possibility as soon as 2015. The power is still up in the air. Some have tagged him more as an 8-12 homer type guy while others have said 15 or maybe even 20 homers could be in the cards. With any player, we get lots of comps thrown around. Two of the comps I’ve heard the most are Shane Victorino and Rajai Davis. Honestly, the Davis comp makes the most sense to me. The one that makes the least sense is Grey, he’s just a buffoon.” Hey, what’s that all about? To me, the Rajai comparison feels heavy on the speed; Victorino seems a better equivalent, but, honestly, there’s a ton of unknown here. He could be anywhere from a 7 HR/20 SB fourth outfielder to a 20 HR/40 SB superstar. Victorino feels about right — 12 homers, 30 steals. The more I read that he only had 66 steals in 1097 plate appearances in Cuba, I wonder if the hype machine hasn’t taken Rusney and thrown him into the spin cycle, making him more than he is. Shizzton of risk either way you slice the cake, and, brucely, I love cake, so I hope you’re sharing.” And that’s me quoting me and quoting Mike! In his brief cup of coffee (shot of espresso?), Castillo had two homers and three steals while batting .333 in 36 ABs. Call Cooperstown, Castillo’s coming in to sit for his bust sculpting. Or wrap him in plaster of Paris and put him outside of Fenway. We’ve got ourselves an immortal! Okay, but let’s just say for argument’s sake, he’s not an immortal, what can we expect from Rusney Castillo for 2015 fantasy baseball?
Guess the real question is what did we learn from the 36 ABs at the end of last year? We learned that Cuban players come on like your horny teenaged self when they are first introduced to the major leagues. Outside of that, don’t think there’s a whole lot to cull. By the by, if I were a verb, I would be to cull. I’m a culling impresario. Just cull my name and I’ll be there. Castillo isn’t even at the top of the Red Sox prospect ranks for real baseball, but real baseball requires standing around all day and scratching yourself…Now that I think about it, fantasy baseball is closer to real baseball than I originally thought. Castillo’s, uh, prospects are being lowered in real baseball scout circles due to what they expect to be average defense. For our purposes — or porpoises if the dolphins take over the world — Castillo should play just fine as a 3rd outfielder with 2nd outfielder upside. The difference between him and some other rookies is he’s already 27 years old, so you don’t have the age risk. You do have the Cuban raftee risk, which means we don’t know exactly what to expect. What I said a few months ago that is quoted above still holds. He could an amazing 4th outfielder for the Red Sox and garbage for most mixed leagues or he could just be incredible without the caveats like he flosses after each meal. Definitely worth the flyer in case we get Jose Abreu with 40-steal speed. You just have to be wary about drafting him so high, in case he gets platooned with Betts, Victorino, Craig, Nava or whoever else the Red Sox have. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 72/12/62/.278/28. Honestly, that’s me pulling some numbers out of a hat. If he went to the minors to start 2015, it wouldn’t surprise me. Or if he went to the All-Star Game in July of next year, it wouldn’t surprise me either. If he ate a magic mushroom and starting singing, “Ain’t got no time for bird sex,” well, that would surprise me.