Tigers and Castellanos A Perfect Fit

Heading into the first night of the 2010 draft, the Tigers didn't have a first-round pick, but despite not making their first selection until the 44th pick overall, the Tigers got the equivalent of a first-rounder by tabbing third baseman Nick Castellanos from Florida's Archbishop McCarthy High School with their first pick.

A Miami recruit who helped lead his team to the 4A state championship, Castellanos had a big senior year by hitting .542 with six home runs, 41 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

But what makes Castellanos's story so interesting are the ties his family has with Detroit. His mother was born and raised in Detroit, and 20 members of his family still reside in suburban Detroit. His father, a doctor, took his internal medicine training in Detroit, and the family spent many days and nights attending games at Tiger Stadium.

"The Tigers were the perfect fit," Castellanos said late on Monday night. "I can't wait to put on the Olde English D and wear that uniform."

Heading into the draft, Castellanos was a long shot to make it to the Tigers. A 4-for-4 performance last summer at the Under Armour game at Wrigley Field, as well as a stint with Team USA's gold-medal winning 18U team placed him squarely into the first-round mix heading into the spring, but signability questions scared many clubs off.

Despite his slide, Castellanos was quite pleased with the final outcome.

"It was a surprise to me, but I'm very excited," Castellanos said. "I really focused on baseball, and didn't let the media and scouts bother me. I just focused on hitting and let everything take care of itself."

One of the top hitters in this year's draft class, Castellanos has the chance to hit for plenty of power, and he profiles as a solid defender at third base.

After spending all of last summer on the showcase circuit that included a stint with the Tigers' team at the East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Castellanos said he will spend the summer hitting the weight room.

Of course, there is also the matter of whether or not he will sign with the Tigers, and Castellanos himself didn't offer any hints.

"I really don't know," Castellanos said. "I'm happy with the moment."

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