The Tampa Bay Rays had three picks in the first two rounds of the 2013 MLB Draft Thursday night. They took high school catcher Nick Ciuffo with the 21st overall pick, right-hander Ryne Stanek out of the University of Arkansas with the 29th pick, and then high school shortstop Riley Unroe in the second round (60th pick).
Here are profiles of all three of the Rays’ draft picks.
Drafted: First round, No. 21 overall
DOB: 3/7/1995 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’1″/200 lbs
School: Lexington HS (Charleston, S.C.)
College Commitment: South Carolina
Scouting Report: Talented young catcher with power, considered to be the best defensive catcher in the draft. His best tool is his arm; it’s very strong, accurate and he has a quick release. Ciuffo has drawn MLB comparisons to A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Avila.
Drafted: First round, No. 29 overall
DOB: 7/26/1991 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6’4”/190 lbs
Scouting Report: Stanek was drafted in the third round by the Seattle Mariners in 2010, but chose to attend the University of Arkansas instead. Last season with the Razorbacks, Stanek went 8-4 with a 2.82 ERA and 83 strikeouts through 92.2 innings. He’s impressed scouts again again this year, posting a 1.39 ERA in 97.3 innings.
Stanek has a strong arsenal which includes a plus fastball that ranges from 91-97 MPH. He also throws an eye-opening curveball and slider with high potential.
Stanek was expected to be picked within the top 15 overall in this draft my many experts, but some notable concerns made him fall to 29th in the draft. Due to the way the 6-foot-4 right-hander throws (three-quarter slot release and extended stride), Stanek is considered to be a rather high risk for injury. His consistent command issues are another reason.
Stanek is projected to have a ceiling of a mid-rotation starter, but could very possibly end up as a reliever (hopefully a high-leverage one).
Ryne Stanek has already fallen at least 10 spots below where projected. By slot looks like it could cost him $750+K
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 7, 2013
Drafted by: Second round, No. 60 overall
DOB: 11/3/1995 (Age: 17)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/180 lbs
School: Desert Ridge High School (Ariz.)
Scouting Report: Unroe is an extremely athletic shortstop who the Rays believe can stay at the position long term. He has great speed and quickness which give him good range, as well as a plus arm and very good infield skills overall. He’s projected to be a defensive-oriented shortstop, possibly somebody like Cliff Pennington of the Oakland Athletics.
Offensively, Unroe also has potential to keep an eye on. He’s a switch hitter with above-average bat speed and raw power that he has yet to really tap into.
The biggest concern for Unroe is his signability, which is a huge question mark at the moment. There’s a pretty decent chance that the 17-year-old opts to play college ball first in order to improve his draft stock in the future.
Here’s MLB.com’s scouting report for more on Unroe.