Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu believes Rusney Castillo is going to be star for Red Sox

Rob Bradford
July 28, 2015 - 7:29 pm

Almost a year after the Red Sox inked Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal, the outfielder has collected a fair amount of naysayers. But don'€™t count Jose Abreu among that group. The White Sox slugger '€“ who hit his 52nd career home run in the first baseman'€™s 238rd big league game Tuesday night during his team'€™s 9-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park '€“ believes good times are ahead for his former Cuban national team teammate. "Yes, of course," said Abreu through a translator when asked if he believed Castillo would be a star in the major leagues. "He'€™s a five-tool player. He'€™s just trying to work hard every day. He'€™s a great, great player." While the 28-year-old Abreu is just less than six months younger than Castillo, the pair'€™s immediate major league success has been strikingly different. The Red Sox outfielder has totaled a .272 batting average, .688 OPS and three home runs in 38 major league games, while also 40 more games with Triple-A Pawtucket this season. Abreu, on the other hand, by this date in his first full major league season had already hit 31 homers. The White Sox slugger suggests, however, that all Castillo needs is more time. "I played against him a lot in Cuba and I know him very well. He'€™s a very good player," Abreu said. "My advice for him is to just keep working hard every day because he'€™s got a lot of talent to show up here." He added, "I see him as the same player as he was in Cuba. Sometimes it'€™s difficult for a player to just play one game or two and not have that consistency instead of playing every day. He has to keep working his way because he'€™s not a manager. He just has to play hard." And then there is that sting that Abreu left for Red Sox fans when the White Sox out-bid Boston for the player'€™s services by less than $5 million. (It is believed that the narrow miss by the Red Sox on Abreu pushed the team harder toward signing Castillo, with principal owner John Henry emailing last August, "Yes, the financial aspects [of Castillo'€™s contract] were impacted by coming close on Abreu. The White Sox did their homework." "I just kept my mind open for each team," Abreu said. "I have to thank the Red Sox organization because I was working out in their complex in the Dominican Republic, so I have to thank them for that because they gave me the facility to show off for other teams, and for them also. But things were right for the White Sox."