Castillo looks to fit right in with Sox

Castillo looks to fit right in with Sox
August 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
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BOSTON - If Rusney Castillo needs any encouragement or advice on how to succeed at the highest level in the game, he doesn't have to go far.

Castillo is one of two Cuban players on the Red Sox, with Yoenis Cespedes coming over at the trade deadline.

Some thought that having Cespedes on the team was a draw for Castillo. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. But on Saturday we found out that the two didn't speak much leading up to the day Castillo signed.

"I didn't really talk to him throughout the process," Castillo said though a translator. "I got to talk to him today for a little while and he's obviously a player that I've admired for a long time. I'm happy to be a member of the Red Sox with him."

With Cespedes in left field, and Castillo eventually in center the two will become even closer as teammates. And if Castillo needs anybody to look up to as he begins his career in the United States, the hard-working Cespedes is certainly a good option to have. Castillo said he's already reached out to him once.

"He made me aware that it's basically the same game we play in Cuba," Castillo said. "Success here will come down to working and grinding away at a day-to-day level."

Of course the Red Sox already know Castillo is a hard-working individual himself. All you have to do is look at his build to see that. But it's not just the physical side of things the Sox investigate, but also who Castillo is as a person.

"Obviously any time we're going to consider any sort of commitment like anything close to this, we would want to feel good about the person as much as the player," GM Ben Cherington said at Castillo's introductory press conference. "And we feel like we were able to do that thanks to [Brodie Van Wagenen, Castillo's agent] and his team. We had good access and a collaborative effort over the last several weeks. We got to know Rusney. And we do our due diligence like we would on any player. Everything that came back on Rusney from anyone that we talked to - people that have been around him, people that have known him - it's just very positive. A young man who just loves to play baseball, competitor, and someone we think will fit well in this organization."

For Castillo, playing in Boston is not quite a childhood dream come true - but it sounds like as the years went by it became one.

"As a kid I honestly didn't get a chance to see many games or follow Major League Baseball very closely," Rusney said. "But as you grow up and mature a little bit obviously the Red Sox were one of the premiere franchises and one of the teams I would follow more closely than others. So it's really a privilege to be here."