Castillo may be budding ace for Reds

Reds starter Luis Castillo pitches against the Brewers on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

caption arrowCaption
Reds starter Luis Castillo pitches against the Brewers on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Luis Castillo might be better than the Reds expected.

Traded twice by the pitching-needy Marlins, Castillo has looked dynamic in Cincinnati. At times, his repertoire has amazed, showcasing potential that may have Reds fans dreaming of an eventual Hunter Greene-Castillo duo at the top of the rotation.

Luis Castillo, 88mph Changeup Movement.

😷

Explorepic.twitter.com/ZPXf5tHGP1

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja)

ExploreAugust 16, 2017

Eno Sarris at FanGraphs took a closer look at the Reds' budding rookie. Per Sarris, no one who's thrown at least 200 four-seamers this year has topped Castillo's velocity.

Sarris evaluates that Castillo’s fastball doesn’t have much spin, and he needs to induce more groundballs. He didn’t consistently produce missed swings in the minors, which could be concerning with an increased sample size.

"In sum, we've got a flame-throwing righty with one plus secondary pitch and another average one," Sarris writes. "If we count the fastball as a plus, then we get to compare him to pitchers like Michael Fulmer and Luis Severino, two other righties with similar profiles."

The two names Sarris dropped are ace-caliber pitchers who’ve both taken another step in the last year in their mid-20s. Sarris believes the fastball flaws could limit Castillo’s ceiling, but if he’s anything close to Fulmer or Severino, the Reds would have to be quite pleased.

About the Author