1. Luis Castillo, Reds right-handed pitcher
The Cincinnati Reds will have to be blown away in order to deal Luis Castillo before the start of the 2022 season. I know there were plenty of rumblings this offseason, and I’m sure there was some truth to some of the trade rumors, but I think Cincinnati’s front office knows that they have in Luis Castillo, and I assume we’ll hear more about a potential contract extension rather than a trade.
Castillo is under team control for the next three seasons, but that won’t stop the Reds from trying to lock up their young ace beyond the 2023 season. Trust me, Nick Krall and the other front office staff know what they have in Luis Castillo; a young, talented pitcher who possesses Cy Young-type stuff.
Luis Castillo has been dominant the past two seasons, and with Trevor Bauer off to LA, La Piedra will be the unquestioned ace of the ball club moving forward. Sonny Gray is a talented pitcher, but Castillo is just better and still has some untapped potential.
It took Castillo a few games to get going last season, as the right-hander started the season 0-5 with a 4.10 ERA. However, Castillo recovered nicely, found his groove, and finished the abbreviated 2020 season going 4-1 over the final five games with a 2.20 ERA and 37 strikeouts over 32.2 innings.
Luis Castillo is the Cincinnati’s best pitcher, and I fully expect him to be on the bump for Opening Day 2022 wearing a Reds uniform. The rest of rotation heading into next season may be a question mark, but every fan should expect Castillo to be the team’s ace in 2022.