Nick Ciuffo, a Mount Pleasant native picked by the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round of the Major League Draft last June, is No. 12 on Baseball America’s list of top Gulf Coast League prospects for the 2013 season. Ciuffo is a catcher who played at Wando High School before transfering to Lexington High School.
BA’s ratings of every minor league include 11 other players with Lowcountry or state connections.
Former Clemson outfielder and quarterback Kyle Parker (Rockies) is the No. 13 prospect in the double-A Texas League. Ex-Tigers shortstop Brad Miller (Mariners) is No. 13 in the double-A Southern League.
Former South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (Red Sox) is No. 8 in the triple-A International League. LB Dantzler (Blue Jays), a former Gamecocks first baseman, is No. 19 in the Northwest League.
Miller and Bradley played in the majors this season.
Former Coastal Carolina second baseman Tommy La Stella (Braves) is No. 16 in the double-A Southern League.
Pitcher Rafael De Paula is the lone RiverDogs representative in the low-level Class A South Atlantic League, at No. 16. But three ex-RiverDogs made lists at higher levels: catcher Gary Sanchez No. 7 and outfielder Mason Williams No. 19 in the high-level Class A Florida State League; catcher J.R. Murphy No. 18 in the double-A Eastern League.
Like Ciuffo, shortstop Chris Owings (Diamondbacks) pitcher Taylor Guerrieri (Rays) played for Mount Pleasant-based Diamond Devils travel teams. Owings is the No. 8 prospect in the triple-A Pacific Coast League and Guerrieri the No. 18 prospect in the low-level Class A Midwest League.