By P. Erik Meyer ’14
Last year baseball prospect Ryan Castellani ’14 committed to UCLA for baseball.
According to a ROUNDUP article from last year, Castellani said this about his future at UCLA: “I just want to be a part of it, UCLA is an awesome school, I love it in California.”
Over the course of a year his opinion has changed though and he made a verbal commitment to Arizona State Sept. 24.
“I had to think about if for awhile, I was set on it,” Castellani said about his initial commitment. “My brother is there (ASU) so I was down there a lot, and they kept pitching on me, so it was in my head for awhile.”
Castellani waited until after last year’s season before he began to look more thoroughly at Arizona State.
“I talked to my parents and they said focus on the high school season, don’t worry about this,” Castellani said. “It kept itching at me and I was down there with my brother this fall and just being down there it got to me, so I called ASU on my own to see if they were still interested and they were. I brought it up with my parents and they were shocked because I did it on my own, but they were happy because they knew it was what I wanted to do. They were fully supportive and are excited to come down and see me play in Tempe.”
Head baseball coach Mr. Tom Succow also helped in the process.
“He’s come and talked to me about it,” Mr. Succow said. “He and I spoke last year about UCLA and ever since that moment, which was August of 2012, we had talked about his commitment there, playing college baseball and the opportunity of being drafted. He officially decided to attend ASU and he discussed it with me a little bit and his rationales. Castellani and his dad went on an official visit over there and everything just fell into place.”
According to Castellani, it was not anything UCLA did that affected his decision; it was simply a gut feeling.
“They were great to me, they were extremely gracious, the head coach is a great guy,” Castellani said. “It was just more personal to me.”
Castellani is looking forward to a future in Tempe.
“They will allow me to play both ways, so pitching along with outfield and 1st base,” he said. “I’m excited about that and being able to play with some other Brophy guys. They’re are three guys there now from my sophomore year team: Greybill ’12, Beal ’12 and Torrez ’12.”
Castellani played last year as a pitcher, first baseman and an outfielder.
“He needs to compete to earn playing time,” Mr. Succow said. “He’s going over there as a dual player, he needs to earn his spot over there, but he’s so talented that I have no doubts that we will be able to measure talent wise.”
For now, Castellani said he is focused on Brophy baseball and the upcoming season.
“It’s still early, we are still trying to figure out our team,” Castellani said. “We will start intersquad in October, it should be a good year.”