2013 MLB Draft: Rays Select Nick Ciuffo

Mike Stobe

With pick #21, the Rays picked Nick Ciuffo.

Tonight, mock drafts were ruined very early when Kris Bryant went second, Hunter Dozier went to the Royals, and Phil Bickford went to the Jays.

But it turns out many of the mock drafters were correct in picking Nick Ciuffo to go to the Rays at the 21st overall pick. With pitchers such as Ryan Stanek, Ian Clarkin, and Alex Gonzalez on the board, it looked like the Rays might decide to pass on Ciuffo. Instead, they went with the player they have been rumored to be scouting heavily for weeks.

Ciuffo is a catcher from Lexington High School in South Carolina. Baseball America rated him the #22 prospect in the draft while ESPN rated him 18th best prospect. He was expected to be picked in this range and should sign around slot.

Scott previewed him several days ago:

C Nick Ciuffo, South Carolina H.S. (18 Y.O. 6'1, 200, L/R- committed to South Carolina)

Best tool: Ciuffo is considered to be the best defensive catcher in the draft, but his all-around game is pretty solid.

Analysis: Other catchers in the draft may have better individual skills (such as Jon Denney's power and Reese McGuire's arm), but Ciuffo is the most well-rounded. He offers advanced receiving skills and all the intangibles a team looks for in a catcher. With some tweaks to his throwing mechanics, he could become above average in handling the running game too. He hits for contact well with good bat speed, and he has the strength to become an above average power hitter.

Stock: Ciuffo has already been given to the Rays in a number of mock drafts, and he likely won't last past the first round.

Ciuffo immediately becomes the Rays' best catching prospect.

Baseball America has been releasing some free content on the first round picks, so click here to read their report on Ciuffo.

ESPN Scouting Report

Minor League Ball Scouting Report

Welcome to the Rays organization, Nick Ciuffo! The Rays pick next at #29.

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