Nick Ciuffo bats during a Wando baseball game when he was a sophomore with the Warriors. Ciuffo was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the MLB Draft.
Mount Pleasant product Nick Ciuffo was selected No. 21 to the Tampa Bay Rays in this past Thursday's MLB Draft. Ciuffo, the state's Gatorade player of the year, played at Wando his first two high school seasons before transferring to Lexington.
The slot value for the left-handed, power-hitting catcher's first-round selection is valued at $1,974,700. Ciuffo committed to play collegiately with South Carolina at age 14. As of press time, he has not made a public decision whether he will sign a professional contract or report to the Gamecocks, but it was largely believed that if he was picked in the first round, he would accept the major league assignment.
Immediately after Ciuffo's name was called by commissioner Bud Selig, the 18 year old told a MLB Network reporter “I want to get there as fast as possible,” referring to the major leagues.
He is the first catcher the Rays have ever taken with their first overall pick. The franchise is relatively weak with catching prospects, and Ciuffo is already widely considered to have vaulted to the top of the minor league catching depth chart.
“I can guarantee everybody in Tampa Bay and everybody in the state of Florida one thing,” Ciuffo said in an article on the team's official website. “I can't promise you that I'm going to get to the big leagues, but I can promise you there won't be another catcher coming out of this draft that's going to work harder than me to get to the big leagues.”
TRACK & FIELD
Four Mount Pleasant youth track and field athletes shined during the Hershey State Track Meet, last Saturday at Park West. Justin Pelic, of Christ Our King, had first place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in the boys 11-12 age division.
Zeniyah Lawrence earned three first place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well as the long jump event in the girls 13-14 division. In the girls 11-12 division, Rianna Manigault, of Jennie Moore, took third in the softball throw.
Zaria Ascue, also of Jennie Moore, grabbed a second place finish in the 9-10 division for 400-meter dash. She earned bronze in the 200-meter dash.