Outfielder Rusney Castillo, who defected from Cuba last year, will have a showcase for interested MLB teams on July 26 at the University of Miami, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports.
Castillo, who acquired permanent Haitian residency papers, was declared a free agent by MLB in June. Because the 26-year-old played played five years in Cuba’s top professional league, he is exempt from MLB’s international spending cap.
Castillo is represented by Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports and has been training in the northern region of the Dominican Republic.
Scouts don’t expect Castillo to be an immediate impact player along the lines of Yoenis Cespedes or Jose Abreu, but several scouts who have seen Castillo before he left and since he has been in the Dominican Republic have been impressed, though there’s a split on whether he profiles as an everyday player or a fourth outfielder.
Badler also reports that since Castillo started training in the Dominican Republic, he appears to have added 20 pounds and is now around 5-foot-9, 205 pounds.
Castillo played for the Cuban national baseball team in the 2011 Baseball World Cup and 2011 Pan American Games.
- Sarah Barshop