Well, when you wake up to trade news, you REALLY wake up to trade news. The Cincinnati Reds have reportedly traded pitcher Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins for three prospects.
Sources: Marlins near deal for starter Dan Straily from Cincinnati. RHP Luis Castillo and Austin Brice, plus third prospect, go to Reds.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2017
REDS get Castillo, Brice and White in deal for Straily.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) January 19, 2017
Austin Brice has some limited big league action, throwing 14.0 innings with Miami in 2016. He struggled, somewhat – posting a 7.07 ERA. Strangely, he allowed 11 runs on just 14 base runners. That almost seems impossible. He walked five batters and had 14 strikeouts. He spent most of his season in Double-A, working out of the rotation and bullpen. The righty also saw five relief appearances in Triple-A. He had success at both stops, posting a 2.74 ERA in 102.0 innings. He had 30 walks and 89 strikeouts along the way. In his limited big league action, Brice averaged 94.5 MPH with his fastball, while also mixing in a slider at 87 and a curveball at 81. He topped out just over 98 MPH.
Right handed pitcher Luis Castillo is the best prospect of the bunch. The 24-year-old split his time between Advanced-A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville this year. He dominated in 23 games (21 starts) for Jupiter in the Florida State League. Castillo posted a 2.07 ERA in 117.2 innings, walking just 18 batters and striking out 91. He only allowed two home runs along the way. He made three starts in Double-A to end the year. The right hander had a 3.86 ERA in those three games.
2016 was the first year in which he was a starter for a majority of the season and he took to the role very well. He walked next to no one and had a solid strikeout rate. He was ranked as the #2 prospect in the Miami organization according to Baseball America after this past season. Luis Castillo has a huge arm, topping out at 101 MPH this season. He mixes that fastball with a good slider and improving change up. Toss in that he can pound the strikezone and we are looking at a very, very interesting arm.
The third player in the deal is 2015 3rd rounder Isaiah White. The outfielder struggled to hit in the New York-Penn League in 2016, posting a .214/.306/.301 line with 22 walks and 60 strikeouts in 201 plate appearances. The strikeout rate is very high, but he improved over his numbers the previous year when he had just three walks and 44 strikeouts. White entered the year as the Marlins 8th ranked prospect according to Baseball America, but he dropped out of their Top 10 with his performance in 2016.
White stands out as an athlete on the field. He’s got top of the scale speed and is a quick-twitch guy with tons of bat speed. He’s still a very raw player though. The improvements he showed in plate discipline in 2016 were encouraging, but there’s still going to need to be a lot of improvement. White is a bit of a boom-or-bust kind of player, but he turned 20 less than two weeks ago, so there’s plenty of time for him to develop.
Landing Luis Castillo makes this trade a big one for the Reds. He’s a high quality arm who should start the year in Double-A. He’s got top end velocity as a starter that only two other guys in the system can match, and he’s able to do so with control. Austin Brice adds in some bullpen depth and could realistically make the team out of spring training. Adding in Isaiah White as a throw in is an outstanding gamble by the Reds. While his performance was lacking in a big way during 2016, he’s got all kinds of tools and athleticism to work with. It may take time, but there’s some real talent that could come out of him with continued development.