Originally written on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Nick Ciuffo is eager for the next stage of his baseball life to begin.The Tampa Bay Rays announced Friday morning that they had signed their first-round pick, No. 21 overall. In the afternoon, the catcher reported to Port Charlotte, Fla., where he will join the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays."With the slot value where it was (1,974,700), it was really just too good of a deal to turn down," Ciuffo told reporters in a conference call.Tampa Bay made some franchise history with its selection of Ciuffo. He became the first catcher ever taken by the Rays with their first-round pick. Baseball America ranked him as the drafts No. 22 overall prospect, the No. 2 catcher and the top player out of South Carolina. Meanwhile, MLB.com slotted him as the No. 23 overall prospect.After his senior season at Lexington (S.C.) High School, he was named the 2013 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year. He led his team to a Class 4A championship, hitting .468 with five home runs, 33 RBI, a .723 slu...
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