Report: Simply put, Alexi Casilla appears to be the second coming of Luis Castillo. The 22 year old from the Dominican Republic brings many skills to the plate including being a great fielder, an excellent contact hitter, and can steal bases with the best of them. Casilla was originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels as a nondrafted free agent in 2003, but was acquired by the Minnesota Twins on December 9, 2005 in a trade that sent relief pitcher J.C. Romero to L.A.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder immediatley turned heads within the Twins minor league system when he showed his incredible speed and flashy glove. He continued to make a name for himself last season when the Twins announced that he was named the 2006 Sherry Robertson Award winner as the Twins’ Minor League Player of the Year. Casilla batted .318 with 84 runs, 22 doubles, 7 triples, 46 RBI, and 50 stolen bases in 123 games between Fort Myers and New Britain.
|ALEXI CASILLA 2006 STATISTICS|
Casilla’s recognition didn’t end there as the second baseman also collected a Twins’ Minor League Player of the Month award in July when he hit .370 in 24 games. He would also be named to the Florida State League Postseason All-Star team and was ranked the “Fastest Baserunner, Best Defensive Second Baseman, and the Most Exciting Player” in the Florida State League by Baseball America. He also led the entire Twins organization in stolen bases and second among minor leaguers in hitting.
During September call-ups Casilla got a little taste of the majors. In his brief nine game stint, the young speedster hit .250 (1-4) in only four at-bats. It’s quite obvious to see that this won’t be the last time Casilla is called to the big leagues as the young kid will be a big part of the Minnesota Twins ballclub for years to come. He emcompasses everything the Twins organization values in a position player with his contact hitting, speed, and stellar glove in the field.