The Tigers were without a first round draft pick, but that didn’t stop them from making a splash with their two compensatory draft picks, selections they were granted in exchange for losing Type B free agents Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon.
With the first pick, the Tigers swung for the fences, literally and figuratively, snagging high school infielder Nick Castellanos out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Davie, FL. The youngster spent most of his time at shortstop, but at 6’ 4”, likely projects to move to third base.
David Chadd, the Tigers vice president of amateur scouting, had this to say about Castellanos:
“His tool set and really the complete package he brings was impossible to pass up at 44. His hit ability is a plus, he has a short compact stroke, and has very easy power off the bat. He has great ability to move the ball around the field and his pitch recognition is very strong.”
Castellanos was widely considered a first-round draft pick, potentially among the top 10-15 most talented players in the amateur draft, but fell due to signability concerns as he’s rumored to be carrying a high price tag along with a strong commitment to the University of Miami.
Despite being a South Floridian though, Castellanos has a Detroit connection. “Nick has a connection to Detroit as his mother is from here, and his grandfather is actually a retired city of Detroit firefighter. So as excited as we were to select Nick they sounded just as excited to be selected by the Tigers.”
Chadd chose to gloss over the signability concerns, leaving those for another day, stating simply, “We feel very fortunate that Nick fell to us at 44 and I’ve always felt very fortunate to have the support that allows us to take the best player available.”
Of course, Castellanos wasn’t the only player added to the organization on Monday night, as the club also selected Texas right-handed reliever Chance Ruffin with their 48th selection.
For the second straight year, the Tigers have selected the University of Texas’ closer, with Ruffin following last year’s fifth round pick Austin Wood. Comparing the two, Chadd stated:
“Ruffin will show you a bit more power and a little more velocity. They both have a similar make-up, are both very aggressive on the mound, and their command of the pitches is very similar. But Ruffin just brings a little more power.”
The 21-year-old moved to the closer’s role this season after excelling as one of the Longhorns’ top starters in 2009, but moved for the sake of the team.
The move has worked well for Ruffin, who has a 0.73 ERA in 36 appearances, including 14 saves. Ruffin also has struck out 96 in 61 2/3 innings.
Given his impressive showing for one of the top college programs, Ruffin is someone that could move quickly, according to Chadd. “Chance could definitely start at a more advanced level as he has that type of advanced pitchability, but we’ll leave that up to Ezell (Tigers director of player development Glenn Ezell).”
Day one of the 2010 draft is in the books, and once again, the Tigers have proven to aggressive in adding some high-ceiling talent to go with some polished college pitching to create a very formidable duo out of the first day of the draft.
We’ll have to wait and see what day two brings.