Left-handed pitcher Joey Cantillo
The Cleveland Indians/Guardians acquired southpaw Joey Cantillo in the trade that sent Mike Clevinger to the San Diego Padres. The soon-to-be 22-year-old only pitched 13 innings this year, missing a good chunk of the season due to injuries. But if he’s healthy, he could be a very nice Rule 5 pick-up.
The last time Cantillo pitched a noteworthy amount of innings was in 2019. He pitched 98 of his 111 innings at Low-A where he posted a 1.93 ERA, 2.15 FIP, and 0.86WHIP. Cantillo is a strikeout machine. He’s always posted a strikeout rate above 30% since his pro debut back in 2017. While he struggled with command in his short 13 innings stint in 2021, his career walk rate is only 9.1%. In terms of home runs, he’s given up just 5 in 181.2 career innings.
Cantillo throws three offerings. The southpaw isn’t a flamethrower as his four-seam fastball only averages out in the low-90’s. He has touched 94, but his pitchability and command with his fastball are what make it a solid pitch. He also throws a curveball which at its best is an average offering. It currently resides in a 45-projected. His best offering is a changeup. Both FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline see this as a well-above-average pitch. FanGraphs sees it reaching a 60-grade when he’s developed fully.
Cantillo also has projected-plus command. While it’s not reflected in his walk rate, he has a sub-8% walk rate in seasons where he has pitched at least 20 innings. Now he is a bit young. Next year will only be his age-22 campaign. Plus, he only has 8 innings pitched in the upper minor leagues. He’d be a solid pick-up to serve as a long relief man and also make a few spot starts here-and-there.