Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo defected earlier this year and is expected to sign with a Major League team shortly after a showcase on July 26 at the University of Miami.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, and San Francisco Giants are among the teams who have expressed interest.
The 27-year-old Castillo established residency in Haiti and was cleared by the U.S. Government to sign with a team last week, notes Sanchez.
The right-handed hitting Castillo is listed at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds and his known for his plus-speed. Here is a scouting report from Sanchez:
Castillo is a right-handed hitter with power, has plus-plus speed and is viewed by some as a line-drive hitter. Scouts also like his athleticism. He’ll have to start the season in the Minor Leagues, but there’s a belief that he could be in the big leagues by the end of the season. He’s expected to compete for a starting job in Spring Training.
If Castillo were to land with the Cubs he would likely start in Brett Jackson’s place in the Iowa outfield before competing for a starting spot on the Cubs’ 2015 Opening Day roster.
Castillo has been compared to Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and even Kenny Lofton and is represtend by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. Since he played five years in Cuba’s top professional league, he will not be subject to MLB’s international spending limit.