Two 2011 BlueClaws, RHP Lendy Castillo and IF Travis Mattair were selected in today’s Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings. Castillo was taken in the Major League portion by the Cubs and Mattair in the Triple-A phase by the Reds. Here is the full list of drafted players from MLB.com.
Castillo joined the BlueClaws in June and went 4-2, 2.54. He struck out 46 hitters in 46 innings pitched. He pitched across three levels (Dominican Summer League, Gulf Coast League, and NY-Penn League) in 2010 after three years as an infielder. He hit just .239 in those three seasons so the Phillies tried him as a pitcher and it certainly worked out. He’s considered somewhat raw (expected considering he has only thrown 111 professional innings) but throws in the low to mid 90s with excellent movement. Now he’ll have a chance to make a big league roster out of spring training.
Mattair was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2007 and was with the BlueClaws in 2008 and 2009. After taking a year off to pursue college basketball, he returned to baseball this year, which he split between Lakewood and Clearwater. This year with Lakewood he hit .266 with 2 HRs and 18 RBIs. You may remember that it was nearly 3 HRs and 21 RBIs but his apparent walk-off grand slam on July 4th was changed to a single. Mattair played 288 games in a BlueClaws uniform, more than anyone else (the second highest total is 205 by Carlos Rodriguez). His 256 hits are 72 more than Greg Golson.
Steve Roadcap, who managed Mattair here in 2008, is now a scout for the Reds, which could be the connection to the Cincinnati organization.
What It Means
In Castillo’s case, he will now have an opportunity to make the Cubs Major League roster out of spring training. If he does, and is with them the entire year, the Cubs carry his rights into 2013. If not, he must be offered back to the Phillies, who would probably take him back.
In Mattair’s case, he will now go to the Reds where he will have a great shot to make at least their Double-A roster out of camp. Travis is as good a guy as you will ever meet and we wish him nothing but the absolute best.
Good luck to both guys!