Cincinnati Reds: Five current players most likely to make the Hall of Fame

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds give a high five to Joey Votto #19 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds give a high five to Joey Votto #19 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FLORIDA – AUGUST 28: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

2. Luis Castillo, Right-handed pitcher

It was like splitting hairs deciding between No. 2 and No. 3, but in the end Luis Castillo got the nod because of his youth and higher ceiling. While Eugenio Suárez has the makings of a third baseman capable of multiple All-Star appearances, Castillo has the look of an ace in the making and could be in the hunt for the Cy Young Award year-in and year-out.

Luis Castillo has arrived. Last spring, La Piedra made name for himself and took home Pitcher of the Month honors during the month of April. Castillo began last year’s All-Star campaign going 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA and 50 strikeouts during his first seven starts. Castillo struggled a big down the stretch, but still finished the 2020 season with a 3.40 ERA.

Castillo’s changeup might be, nay, is the best in baseball. According to FanGraphs, Castillo went to his bread and butter 32.4% of the time, with the velocity dropping from 96.5-MPH on his fastball to 87.3-MPH when Castillo throws his changeup. He kept hitters off balance all season, striking out 226 batters and inducing a 55.2% ground ball-rate.

At 27-years of age, Luis Castillo has youth on his side. The former Miami Marlins farmhand has turned into the Cincinnati Reds ace. Look for the front office to lock-up Castillo for the foreseeable future, keeping La Piedra in the Queen City for years to come. Castillo is best pitcher to come through Cincinnati since Johnny Cueto, who almost won the NL Cy Young in 2014 with the Reds.