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Rays take high school C Nick Ciuffo, RHP Ryne Stanek

Newest Rays C Nick Ciuffo, doing interview at MLB Network


Newest Rays C Nick Ciuffo, doing interview at MLB Network

UPDATE, 11:58: With the 60th pick, the Rays took Mesa, Ariz., prep shortstop Riley Unroe, whose dad, Tim, played briefly in the majors.

UPDATE, 10:05: The Rays took Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek with their other first-round pick. Stanek, 21, was 10-3, 1.39 for the Razorbacks.

DEVELOPING: The Rays took C Nick Ciuffo, a high schooler from Lexington, S.C., with their first pick, 21st overall, in the draft.

He has been compared to A.J. Pierzynski, though he compares himself to Brian McCann.

"I kind of had a feeling the Rays were where I was going to go,'' Ciuffo said at the draft show on MLB Network.

Ciuffo, who is 6-1, 205, is a lefty hitter with power. He hit .468 with 5 homers and 33 RBIs in high school.

He is friends with Rays 2011 first-rounder RHP Taylor Guerreri and has a scholarship offer to South Carolina.

Here is a brief scouting report on Ciuffo, from Baseball America:

"Nobody helped themselves more at the National High School Invitational than Nick Ciuffo. Against premium competition, he showed good hitting ability, refined catching skills and an improved frame—standing at a chiseled 6-foot-1, 205 pounds with broad shoulders. Ciuffo stood out on the summer circuit for his bat and chance to catch, but scouts have been impressed by his improvements behind the plate. He is a good receiver with a strong arm and quick release. He plays with energy and has matured into a leader on the field for a nationally ranked team. He projects to hit for at least average power and draws comparisons to A.J. Pierzynski for his tools and competitive edge. He committed to South Carolina before recording a varsity at-bat and has excellent baseball aptitude, recalling at-bats against Stetson Allie as a freshman and breaking down opposing players for scouts. He's not as athletic as Reese McGuire and doesn't have the same power as Jonathan Denney, but he has the best all-around skills of that group and could go in the first round."

The Rays have another first-round pick at 29, which they got in compensation for the loss of free-agent OF B.J. Upton. They also have the No. 60 pick.


[Last modified: Thursday, June 6, 2013 11:58pm]


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