Late Friday night time, the Mariners and the Reds consummated the first blockbuster trade of the deadline period, with changeup artist Luis Castillo on his technique to the Pacific Northwest for a substantial haul of younger gamers headlined by No. 11 overall prospect Noelvi Marte. In trade for a couple of 12 months and a half of Castillo, the Reds netted a mix of upside (Marte, 18-year-old Low-A shortstop Edwin Arroyo, and burgeoning reliever Andrew Moore) and stability (doubtless 2023 rotation contributor Levi Stoudt).
The 20-year-old Marte, a possible All-Star shortstop and a 60 FV prospect, is hitting .275/.363/.462 at Excessive-A Everett and has truly carried out higher than that extra not too long ago, slashing .301/.379/.549 because the starting of June; he hit 15 homers and 19 doubles in 85 video games previous to the commerce. Marte has his doubters, or at the very least folks within the trade who would take the beneath on my private analysis of him. There are scouts and golf equipment who had been discouraged by his early-season conditioning; others are skeptical of his hit device. Mostly, although, there are scouts who assume he received’t keep at shortstop. That is partially because of the method his physique seemed early this season (it wasn’t dangerous, however was near maxed-out), and in addition as a result of Marte has had points with errors, largely of the throwing selection; he has accrued 24 whole errors already in 2022.
Marte’s throwing stroke is just a little odd. He tends to require a number of footfalls to essentially set himself and throw, and when he has to hurl the ball from an odd platform, he tends to short-hop first base, which is a part of the place the throwing errors stem from. At occasions he performs just a little excessive, bending on the waist quite than on the knees, however his lateral agility is spectacular for a participant his measurement, and he’s able to making some slick, unusual performs at brief along with the unlucky errors. That Marte is as bodily as he’s at his age (he physique comps pretty near Ketel Marte proper now, and it’s attainable he might find yourself in a Rafael Devers/Eugenio Suárez space in his mid-to-late-20s) does contribute to the chance that he’ll transfer to 3rd base, however I’m not able to name it a likelihood. It’s possible his throwing stroke may be made extra constant and typical, and as gamers like Bo Bichette and Julio Rodríguez have proven, it’s attainable (and maybe simpler) for athletes this age to remake their physiques and fully (and considerably) enhance points of their athleticism over the course of a few months. I don’t essentially assume that should occur right here, nevertheless it wouldn’t damage.
I’m undecided the place the skepticism round Marte’s bat is coming from. He’s so robust that he can do extra-base harm regardless of preserving his swing comparatively easy, and though he’s a bucket-strider (his entrance foot takes a line towards the third bottom line quite than proper again towards the pitcher, and hitters who have a tendency to do that typically depart themselves weak to sliders away from them), he tends to do job of masking the outer half. Even a few of his uglier, bent-at-the-waist swings, when he’s attempting to spoil well-located sliders or shield with two strikes, may end up in exhausting, extra-base contact. He exhibits barrel variability, although maybe not exact barrel accuracy proper now, and sprays contact to all fields. There isn’t a identifiable purple flag in any of his underlying chase or in-zone contact knowledge, and a few of what people with groups that aren’t the Reds or Mariners have despatched to me is spectacular. Marte has already hit balls with exit velocities within the 111-113 mph vary and is operating an 87% in-zone contact fee and 30% chase fee, that are each two share factors higher than the massive league common — and bear in mind, we’re speaking a couple of 20-year-old shortstop prospect right here. All of it helps the visible analysis: massive energy with sufficient bat-to-ball really feel and zone self-discipline to weaponize it, whereas probably taking part in at a premium defensive place.
I imagine sufficient within the bat to mission Marte as an influence participant even when he strikes to 3rd base; if he can discover a technique to keep at brief, he’s a possible famous person. The Reds 40-man roster is about to be extraordinarily crowded with high-variance prospects. Marte must be added this winter, as does Stoudt, Elly De La Cruz, Brandon Williamson, and Daniel Vellojin, whereas energy/strikeout marvel Allan Cerda is already on there. Cincinnati’s 40-man shortstop combine additionally contains former prime 100 prospect Jose Barrero, who’s lastly again from hamate surgical procedure and appears understandably rusty at Triple-A Louisville. At peak, Barrero has seemed like a star shortstop prospect of his personal, with plus energy and protection, and a 70 arm, however he has a complete incapability to put off sliders away from him. He must be given an prolonged alternative to sink or swim because the shortstop early subsequent season whereas Marte and De La Cruz doubtless comprise one of the thrilling infields within the minors at Double-A Chattanooga. Will probably be fascinating to see if the Reds start to maneuver De La Cruz and Marte round to different positions throughout the remainder of the minor league season in anticipation of them sharing reps subsequent 12 months.
There are different thrilling elements to this commerce, beginning with Arroyo, a 40+ FV prospect. He’s a hard-swinging shortstop who’s off to a way more highly effective offensive begin than was anticipated when he signed out of highschool. Again then, he was a switch-hitting, switch-throwing prepster who would pitch left-handed and play the infield, and fell behind a number of the different highschool infielders in his draft class attributable to doubts that Arroyo might keep at brief and considerations about his hit device. He has been nothing in need of implausible since coming into professional ball, hitting .299/.377/.483 in simply over 100 profession video games, with most of them coming this 12 months at Low-A Modesto.
The Cal League has little question inflated Arroyo’s 2022 energy manufacturing to some extent. He doesn’t have enormous uncooked juice (his peak exit velos are within the 106-108 mph vary — a bit shy of huge league common, however nonetheless good for a participant Arroyo’s age), however he does have extra steady bat-to-ball potential than his newbie evaluation (and higher than he confirmed throughout his complex-level debut in 2021) and he lifts the ball with exceptional consistency. Arroyo’s left-handed swing has pure pull-side loft and he’s adept at impacting the baseball method out in entrance of the plate from the suitable aspect, carrying out the identical aim with a barely completely different look. His open batting stance and deep pre-stride crouch are way more excessive than they had been final 12 months, and this modification might need enabled him to see the ball higher (much like the best way opening his stance helped unlock peak Luis Gonzalez) and enhance his bat-to-ball potential.
For a comparatively compact hitter, Arroyo’s swing is swift and explosive. He’s going to get to no matter uncooked energy he finally ends up rising into and has shot to be a center infield common, although most likely not till 2026 or so simply primarily based on his 40-man timeline. Regardless of his on-paper manufacturing up to now, I’ve continued to have a 40+ FV grade on Arroyo. That also places him in an “influence” FV tier, however I do surprise if his energy über alles strategy and low-ball lefty swing shall be toyed with by upper-level pitching, and I are likely to assume he’ll find yourself at second base. He’s nonetheless an thrilling long-term prospect for the Reds to amass and has the second most perceived upside on this deal.
Stoudt was a small faculty prospect with mid-90s arm energy and changeup who fell throughout his draft 12 months attributable to a looming Tommy John surgical procedure. He and the Mariners used his rehab interval to transform the form of his slider, of which Stoudt has developed ultra-consistent, virtually robotic glove-side command. He has comparable letter-high command of his mid-90s fastball, which doesn’t have enormous life. He’s going to feast on the hitters who wrestle to get on prime of pitches in that space, however his fastball isn’t so explosive that it’s going to blow previous everybody up there. This causes Stoudt to need to pitch backwards and nibble along with his slider quite a bit, and the necessity to take action funnels him right into a multi-inning reduction function projection. Whereas he’ll present you the occasional curveball and changeup, his new arm stroke doesn’t enable him to create the identical bat-missing motion on his change, additional pushing him in the direction of the ‘pen. He’s reached and had success as a starter up by means of Double-A, placing him in place to grab a 40-man spot after the season. Stoudt might start his massive league profession as a short-outing starter and shift to the bullpen as his choices dwindle. He was at Double-A Arkansas previous to the commerce and is prone to be the primary prospect from this swap to make his main league debut.
Lastly there’s Moore, who’s a pleasant reduction sleeper pickup for the Reds. Drafted within the 14th spherical in 2021 out of Chipola Junior Faculty in Florida, he’s a pure reduction prospect who has scrapped his changeup and added a second breaking ball to his repertoire whereas additionally experiencing a bump in velocity. Moore’s velocity climbed all through his 2021 JUCO season and after he was 91-94 mph early on, he completed within the 93-96 vary and averaged 94-97 in professional ball after the draft. He’s lanky and has a whippy, free arm motion that he doesn’t repeat persistently, which is the place the reduction projection comes from. His mid-90s fastball has explosive rise-and-run motion that’s helped by his athletic, drop-and-drive model supply, which creates shallow angle on the pitch, although he doesn’t persistently find it within the optimum location. Moore has developed a plus energy curveball in professional ball and nonetheless has a tougher, brief slider that he has retained from faculty. Though he’s been wild within the Cal League (12.8% stroll fee), he’s lacking bats at an elite fee (18% swinging strike fee, 43% strikeout fee) whereas additionally inducing a ton of groundballs (51% GB%). His ceiling shall be dictated by how a lot his command develops, however there may be late-game pure stuff right here. It’s an enormous draft and improvement success for the Mariners to have turned final 12 months’s 14th rounder right into a prospect who carried weight in a big commerce. Moore has been added to The Board on the Reds prospect list.
It’s attainable the Mariners thought Marte was being considerably overvalued by the general public, however they did hand over fairly a bit to get Castillo. The trail you’re taking to conclude that may differ — there are people within the recreation who like Arroyo greater than I do, or Marte lower than I do, or who assume Stoudt has a greater probability to begin than I do — however as the small print of the commerce grew to become recognized to the scouts round me at an Arizona Complicated League recreation, everybody thought it was fairly a haul. From a context-free, surplus worth/bonus wins standpoint, the Mariners paid a hefty value. Along with two months of play this season, Castillo is projected to be a 4-WAR pitcher once more subsequent 12 months, his remaining arbitration season (when he’ll doubtless make north of $10 million) earlier than hitting free company. In a vacuum, we’re speaking about Castillo outperforming his wage at the very least three or 4 occasions over, producing about $40 million in surplus worth. Marte’s “worth” as a prospect is about that a lot on his personal, if you happen to’re beneficiant sufficient to provide me the advantage of the doubt relating to his forecast.
However that’s all earlier than factoring within the situational specifics that influence surplus worth and trigger it to be non-linear. The Mariners didn’t transfer any short-term items to amass Castillo — they saved George Kirby, Matt Brash and Logan Gilbert, purely including to this 12 months’s and subsequent 12 months’s ballclub. 4 marginal wins are value extra to the Mariners than they’re to a group whose file shall be 74-88 as a substitute of 70-92 if they keep Castillo. His presence is an enormous increase to a membership that’s attempting to finish a postseason drought lengthy sufficient that Moses is checking his watch, in a metropolis whose solely aggressive massive 4 males’s group proper now could be this baseball group. Giving up a haul appears high-quality for Seattle, and shall be value it if Castillo stays wholesome during his anticipated tenure.
Since simply earlier than the draft, the Reds have moved from being the nineteenth ranked farm system to the 11th. They could but transfer up additional in the event that they commerce Tyler Mahle, and if a number of of the groups in entrance of them within the rankings deal prospects forward of the deadline.