“The Draft is everything for us” – That’s how important Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman feels about the Major League draft that kicks off this evening.
With the 21st pick in the draft the Rays selected catcher Nick Ciuffo from Lexington High School in South Carolina.
In 2010 he was a 3rd round pick #99 overall by the Seattle Mariners but chose to go to college and improve his draft position. After a strong sophomore season he was regarded a future top 10 pick but according to reports his velocity and control both took a step back and his stock fell.
He has as much arm strength as anyone, throwing a plus fastball in the mid-90s while maintaining velocity throughout his starts. His fastball has good sink and run to it as well. He’ll show two breaking balls, a curve and a slider, with the latter having a chance to be a plus pitch.
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He delivers the ball from a three-quarters arm slot with a strong, quick arm. Unfortunately the delivery looks top-heavy, and he lands on a stiff front leg. At his best he throws two potential plus-to-double-plus offerings in his fastball and slider, along with a third possibly average offering in his changeup. There are command concerns….read more
Allen Simpson, Baseball Prospectus: Perfect Game ($)
Those who like him the most point to his consistent mid-90s fastball that tops at 97 mph with heavy sink and his mid-80s slider — detractors point to his lack of pitchability and dominance considering his raw stuff
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