June 8th, 2010

More on Tigers draft picks

UPDATE @10:40am: Also worth noting that Castellanos graduated from the same high school as Alex and Alan Avila. Alex is Archbishop McCarthy’s first player to make it to the big leagues (it’s a relatively new school), so you can make the case that the Tigers seem to have a pipeline going.

Monday night: You can get a first read on the Tigers’ draft picks from Monday night on the site, and we’ll figure to have more on Tuesday, but I wanted to include a few more notes.

There’s definitely a Detroit history with 44th overall pick Nick Castellanos, and it could make for quite a story. His grandfather on his mother’s side is a retired Detroit firefighter, Tigers scouting director David Chadd said Monday night, and there’s plenty of family in Michigan. Castellanos grew up in south Florida and has committed to play college ball for the prestigious program at the University of Miami, which is why a guy who definitely has first-round talent dropped to the Tigers pick. I didn’t think that would be possible for a team whose first pick didn’t come until 44, but hey, it happens.

“As much as were excited to take him, I think the family is just as excited,” Chadd said in his conference call late Monday night.

One question about Castellanos is whether he has projectable power. He’s 6-foot-4 and listed as anywhere from 195 to 205 pounds, and the Tigers believe that he’s going to fill out to match his height, which should supplement the power.

“I just think he’s going to have a frame,” Chadd said, “and once he fits into that frame he’s going to fit [as a power hitter].”

There’s obviously a family history with 48th overall pick Chance Ruffin, son of former big league reliever Bruce Ruffin. But the bigger comparison Chadd made was between Chance Ruffin and Huston Street. It was Street who went from University of Texas closer to Oakland A’s closer in a hurry a few years back. Ruffin is the Longhorns’ current closer with results similar to what Street had in his time, and there’s similar optimism from Chadd and the Tigers that he could progress quickly through the farm system — or, better yet, start out rather high in the system.

“I would definitely think he could start out at a higher level,” Chadd said.

If that holds, he could well join the ranks of the Tigers’ numerous relief prospects in the upper levels of the farm system, though those ranks have slowed recently with surgery for Cody Satterwhite and an injury to Robbie Weinhardt.

“The old saying, you know, is you can never have enough pitching,” Chadd said. “I think everyone has come to the conclusion in the amateur draft that bullpen arms are valuable. He’s very advanced. He has three power pitches with the ability to locate all his pitches.”

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