Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rusney Castillo Tops List of Fantasy Prospects

Rusney Castillo is listed as the #1 Fantasy Prospect for the upcoming season. Christopher Crawford compiled a Top 50 list for ESPN. Here is what Crawford had to say about Castillo:


1. Rusney Castillo, OF, Boston Red Sox
Thanks to opportunity, impressive athletic talent and his ability to win you a category, Castillo starts the year as our top fantasy prospect for 2015. His calling card is his speed, and it wouldn't shock me if he were among the league leaders in stolen bases at the end of the year. There's raw power in his right-handed bat, but he's more of a doubles hitter than a guy who's going to put up big home run totals. My concern right now is whether he'll hit for average, as while he has a swing path that should allow him to do so, he doesn't have the plate discipline to put himself into position on a consistent basis. That being said, he doesn't have to be a .300 hitter to have value, as Castillo should give you 30 to 40 stolen bases and 12 to 15 homers as an every-day member of the Red Sox outfield.


Castillo was not the only Red Sox prospect to make the list. Henry Owens was ranked #28, Garin Cecchini #45 and Blake Swihart #50


28. Henry Owens, LHP, Boston Red Sox
Owens took another step forward in 2014, posting an ERA under three in his two minor league stops and striking out over a hitter an inning in the process. His change is already a plus offering thanks to its tumbling action and deception from arm speed, and it's complemented by a 90-93 fastball and a solid-average curveball. The command comes and goes, as it does for many 22-year-olds, and there are still scouts who question whether he'll miss bats at the big league level. While I don't think he'll be the strikeout artist he was in the minors, I do think there's enough here to put up his fair share, and it wouldn't surprise me if he were a member of the Red Sox pitching staff by the All-Star break.

45. Garin Cecchini, 3B, Boston Red Sox

Cecchini's calling card is his approach at the plate, though he didn't show nearly as much discipline in his disappointing 2014. Still, Cecchini has a chance to hit at the big league level, thanks to his quality pitch recognition skills and a line-drive stroke that isn't conducive to power but does let him spray the ball to all parts of the field. If there's an injury to any of the corner infielders or David Ortiz, Cecchini is likely the next man up, and he should do a serviceable job if that's the case

50. Blake Swihart, C, Boston Red Sox

Swihart is the best catching prospect in baseball, and has made marked improvement every year in the Boston system. He has a solid swing from both sides of the plate, and like J.T. Realmuto, he's the rare catcher who can give you more than a handful of steals as well. There's more offensive upside here than in either Christian Vazquez or Ryan Hanigan, but because the glove isn't as advanced he likely spends most -- if not all -- of the year in Pawtucket.

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