By Christian Guerithault ’14
Ryan Castellani ’14 started for the varsity baseball team last year as a sophomore and has committed to University of California, Los Angeles, where he will join an elite group of athletes.
Castellani will be one of the varsity baseball team leaders as a junior this year; he is one of the few juniors that can say they verbally committed to college.
“Right before school started, I committed, and I was pretty much set on where I wanted to go,” Castellani said. “I just want to be a part of it, UCLA is an awesome school, I love it in California.”
Castellani played right field last year and pitched some innings as a relief pitcher. This year he is going to play outfield, pitcher and possibly some first base.
“He’s done a remarkably good job in terms of conducting himself as a member of the baseball program and as a student athlete here at Brophy,” said Brophy’s head baseball coach Mr. Tom Succow. “His prowess with us last year was as a hitter, at the end of the season he was on the mound for us and contributed. This year he’s going to have a larger contribution on the mound.”
Last year, Castellani hit nine home runs. He also pitched anywhere from five to eight innings in a start.
Castellani’s fast ball has been clocked at 90-94 mph, and his strengths are not limited to pitching speed.
“I think his number one strength is his competitiveness. I think he is a tremendous competitor on the field, whether he is on the mound, whether he’s playing defense, or whether he’s hitting, and I think that sets him apart from other baseball players,” Mr. Succow said. “I think every day he got a little better.”
Castellani was not sure if he would get a lot of playing time last year as a sophomore. But some space cleared up and he was given the opportunity to play.
“We had some seniors not come out and play, and right field was open and coach Succow gave me the opportunity to start there and we just went with it the whole season,” Castellani said. “Without coach Succow I wouldn’t be in the position I am because he was the one who gave me the opportunity to actually be able to play.”
Next for Castellani is college, where he will get the opportunity to really impress some professional scouts.
Becoming a professional major league athlete does not seem far out of reach for Castellani.
“If things continue in the next two years the way they have in the last few months, he’s a kid that might be a first round or a second round draft pick, and he may never see college because he’s offered too much money in the draft,” Mr. Succow said.
Castellani said if that situation arises it could be a hard call to make.
“From what I’ve heard, the draft is possibly an option, but I guess it really all depends on what round and where I would go in the draft, that would be a really tough decision, but it would be a really good problem to have,” he said.
Many colleges showed interest in Castellani including Arizona State, Arizona, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Santa Clara, Stanford and Oklahoma State.
“Really whatever happens with me I’ll be happy but as long as I’m playing baseball I’m good,” Castellani said.