New York Yankees' top prospects may be involved in Luis Castillo trade talks with Reds

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New York Yankees infielder Oswald Peraza leaves the dugout for batting practice during a spring training baseball workout, Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Tuesday’s report from SNY’s Andy Martino that the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees are engaged in trade conversations about right-handed pitcher Luis Castillo left Reds fans wondering whether Cincinnati might look to acquire any of the Yankees’ top prospects in exchange for the two-time National League All-Star.

Martino said his educated guess is that the Yankees would be willing to trade shortstop prospect Oswald Peraza for Castillo, but not fellow shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe.

Castillo enters his start Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park with a 2.77 ERA and 1.077 WHIP in 13 starts this season. He’s allowed just five home runs through 78 innings pitched.

MLB Pipeline ranks five Yankees prospects among its most recent top 100. Volpe is ranked No. 7, and Peraza is ranked No. 37. Outfield phenom Jasson Dominguez, 19, ranks one spot behind Peraza at No. 38, but may or may not be available.

Here’s more about all five, with their ranking, position, age and some MLB Pipeline analysis:

No. 7 Anthony Volpe, SS, 21

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60

The Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.) featured a pair of future first rounders in 2019, with Volpe signing for $2,740,300 as the 30th overall pick that summer and Jack Leiter going No. 2 overall last year after two seasons at Vanderbilt. Mononucleosis limited Volpe to 34 game in a ho-hum pro debut but he blew away all expectations in his first full pro season in 2021. MLB Pipeline named him the Hitting Prospect of the Year after he batted .294/.423/.604 with 27 homers and 33 steals in 109 games between Low-A and High-A while topping the Minors in runs (113) and ranking second in OPS (1.027) and ranking third in extra-base hits (68).

No. 37 Oswald Peraza, SS, 22

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55

Though New York was in the international spending penalty box in 2016 and limited to bonuses of no more than $300,000, it still landed a strong crop that included Peraza ($175,000 out of Venezuela), right-hander Yoendrys Gomez and trade pieces Jose Devers (sent to the Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton deal) and Roansy Contreras (shipped to the Pirates in a package for Jameson Taillon). Club officials have touted Peraza’s ceiling for years and he broke out in 2021, reaching Triple-A at age 21 while batting .297/.356/.477 with 18 homers and a system-best 38 steals in 115 games. He has louder physical tools than fellow Yankees shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe, should arrive in the big leagues first and could push him to second base.

No. 38 Jasson Dominguez, OF, 19

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

One of the most hyped international prospects ever, Dominguez signed for $5.1 million out of the Dominican Republic in July 2019 after drawing comparisons to the likes of Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout. Also known as “The Martian” because of his out-of-this-world tools, he had his pro debut delayed when the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the 2020 Minor League season. He spent most of 2021 in Low-A Southeast, not dominating but holding his own as the circuit’s second-youngest position player, and participated in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

No. 70 Austin Wells, C, 23

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 40 | Field: 40 | Overall: 55

The Yankees have an affinity in general for offensive-minded catchers and in particular for Wells, whom they drafted in the 35th round from a Las Vegas high school in 2018 and 28th overall in the first round out of Arizona two years later. He won the Pacific-12 Conference freshman of the year and Cape Cod League top prospect awards in 2019, his lone full college season, before signing for $2.5 million as a sophomore-eligible. He posted an .867 OPS with 16 homers and as many steals while advancing to High-A in his pro debut, then continued to rake in the Arizona Fall League.

No. 71 Ken Waldichuk, LHP, 24

Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

After a dominant sophomore season at Saint Mary’s in 2018, Waldichuk scuffled the following spring as he tried to throw harder, allowing the Yankees to draft him in the fifth round. He has found more velocity since turning pro and hit 98 mph while working out on his own during the pandemic shutdown in 2020. That led to a spectacular full-season debut in 2021, when he opened the year by not allowing a run in 30 2/3 innings in High-A. He finished fourth in the Minors in strikeouts (163 in 110 innings) and strikeout percentage (36.0).

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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Yankees’ top prospects may be involved in Luis Castillo trade talks