Scouting All the Prospects in the Andrew Cashner Trade

The Padres have continued to load up their farm system with interesting pieces, this time netting power-hitting first-base prospect Josh Naylor and low-level fireballer Luis Castillo in exchange for Andrew Cashner and others.

Naylor, a native of Ontario, stood out during his showcase summer because of his big raw power but wasn’t seen as a potential first rounder until he began to rake against advanced international competition with the Canadian Junior National Team late the next spring. By draft day, there was buzz that Philadelphia was interested in him at 10, but he fell to 12 where the Marlins made him their second big-bodied first-round selection in as many years. I was not a fan of the pick at the time and remain skeptical of Naylor, but he does have some impressive tools that might allow him to clear the high offensive bar required of a first-base-only prospect.

Naylor has no physical projection remaining but is explosive for his size. He has a strong first step and plus arm which might aid in making him a defensive asset at first base down the line if he can continue to maintain his body as the way he has so far. Various aspects of his defense remain raw to this point — remember, this is a 2015 Canadian high-school draftee we’re talking about here — but there’s a chance he becomes a defensive asset, for what that’s worth, at first base.

Naylor looks like a stereotypical power-before-hit prospect, but his approach is more contact-oriented than it is reliant on power. He has plus bat speed, good bat control and suffers a bit from Josh Vitters Disease, swinging at and making contact with pitches that he can hit but which aren’t driveable. Naylor’s current walk rate is lower than Vitters’ career mark, and — this probably isn’t meaningful, but it’s interesting and weird — his BB% and K% against MLB’s top-20 prospects, as charted by, are 0.8% and 1.7%, respectively. That’s across a 121-PA sample.

There are aspects of Naylor’s swing and general approach to hitting that are clunky. He’s heavy footed and will sometimes stride so far closed that it’s hard for him to pull anything with power. He pushes a lot of weak fly balls the other way as a result. Naylor’s hands are undeniably electric, he has the physical tools to hit and hit for power. Many would argue that, for a prospect this age and at this level of development, that’s all that matters. While I tend to agree with that, I find it difficult to project Naylor as an average everyday player with any confidence because of how unwieldy his approach and mechanics are.

Josh Naylor, Tool Profile
Tool Present Future
Hit 30 50
Raw Power 60 60
Game Power 30 50
Run 40 30
Field 40 50
Throw 60 60
FV 45

Also headed to San Diego is 23-year old Dominican righty Luis Castillo. Castillo, whom the Marlins originally acquired from the Giants in December of 2014 as part of the Casey McGehee deal, will touch 100 and sit 95-97, holding that velo late into his starts. Castillo has an average, vertically oriented slider that flashes above and will be able to miss bats at the big-league level if it’s located properly. The arm speed here allows for changeup projection, but Castillo turns 24 this winter and, if it can just become consistently average, he’ll have done well. It does flash average, mostly in the 83-87 mph range with some movement, but can get firm.

Castillo’s mechanics have been described as “relievery” — and, indeed, there’s a good bit of effort to his delivery — but he has filled the strike zone with regularity this season (15 walks in 100 innings), his first full year as a starter. I think it’s fair to project Castillo as a reliever — not because of wildness, but because (a) the repertoire likely won’t be deep enough for Castillo to pitch through a big-league lineup several times and (b) there’s more control than command here. Despite the upper-90s heat and a plus-flashing slider, Castillo hasn’t really missed many bats this season in High-A, striking out just 84 hitters in those 100 innings.

Luis Castillo, Tool Profile
Tool Present Future
Fastball 80 80
Slider 50 55
Changeup 40 45
Control 50 50
FV 40

The other name in the deal — and it’s one that might be familiar to you if you’ve been following prospects for a while — is that of new Marlins RHP Tayron Guerrero. The 6-foot-8 Colombian righty signed with San Diego in 2009 and was a 2014 Futures Game participant. He’s now 25 years old and has stagnated at the upper levels of the minors because of 30-grade command, though he still features a plus-plus fastball and average slider.

Guerrero has been wholly unable to find any sort of mechanical consistency during his career, and that mechanical variance is magnified by the fact that Guerrero is, you know, huge. Pitchers with this build often take longer to harness their bodies and throw an acceptable level of strikes, so this is an interesting throw-in acquisition for the Marlins, who might yet turn Guerrero into a useful relief option, even if it’s unlikely.

Tayron Guerrero, Tool Profile
Tool Present Future
Fastball 70 70
Slider 50 50
Control 30 30
FV 35*
*Up-and-down reliever.

Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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