Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 6/6/13

The Rays do not pass up the opportunity of drafting a catcher with their first pick on Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft. With pick No. 21, the Rays selected catcher Nick Ciuffo from Lexington (S.C.) High School and at No. 29 selected right handed pitcher Ryne Staneck from the University of Arkansas. Videos of each prospect can be found after the media release from the Rays. Ciuffo, 18, is the first catcher ever taken by the Rays with their first overall pick. He was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 22 overall prospect in the draft, No. 2 catcher, No. 1 out of the state of South Carolina and No. 11 among high school players. He was also ranked as the No. 23 overall prospect by MLB.com. As a senior at Lexington (S.C.) High School, he led his team to a state championship (AAAA) and was named the 2013 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year after hitting .468 with five home runs, 33 RBI, a .723 slugging percentage and .562 on-base percentage. He was also named a 2013 Rawlings Preseason AllAmerican and a 2012 Under Armour All-American. In 123 career high school games, he hit .401 with 11 home runs and 93 RBI. Ciuffo is the first high school catcher from the state of South Carolina ever taken in the first round of the draft. The only other catcher in draft history selected in the first round out of South Carolina was Landon Powell, selected by Oakland in 2004 at No. 24 overall out of the University of South Carolina. Ciuffo has committed to play at the University of South Carolina, which offered him a scholarship at the age of 14 before he had ever played a varsity game. He played youth baseball with Taylor Guerrieri, the Rays first overall pick in 2011 (No. 24 overall). Stanek, 21, was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 13 overall prospect in the draft, No. 5 right-handed pitcher, No. 1 out of the state of Arkansas and No. 8 among college juniors. He was also named the top prospect from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) by Baseball America and Perfect Game. As a junior at the University of Arkansas, he went 10-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 16 starts. For his college career, he went 22-8 with a 2.55 ERA in 48 appearances (45 starts). Among his accolades, the right-hander was selected as the preseason SEC Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America, named to the midseason watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and a selected as a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game. In 2012, he pitched for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. He was previously selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round (99th overall) of the 2010 June Draft. He was named after Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg despite being born into a family of St. Louis Cardinals fans. With their 60th pick, the Rays selected shortstop Riley Unroe from Desert Ridge HS in Mesa, AZ. According to scouts, he is known for a quick bat and is a pure switch-hitter. Baseball America had him ranked 53rd best prospect in the draft. Prospect video on Ciuffo Prospect video on Stanek The post Rays do not pass up a catcher with first pick appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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