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No worries for Lancaster's LG Castillo as MLB Draft begins

Leugim Castillo's dream of becoming a Major League Baseball draft pick likely will become a reality at latest by Wednesday.

It could happen sooner.

If by chance the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Lancaster senior goes unpicked by a big league team, he does have quite the fallback option in a full-ride scholarship to Oklahoma.

It's nice to have options. It's nice to be in a stress-free position, which is why Castillo wasn't fretting about his baseball future hours before Monday night's start of the draft in Secaucus, N.J.

"I don't have any pressure," said Castillo, the Buffalo News Prep Talk Awards Baseball Player of the Year and three-sport star for the Legends. "I'm waiting to see what happens."

The draft consists of 40 rounds. Tuesday's rounds (three through 10) start at 1 p.m. Wednesday selections begin at noon. MLB.com is streaming the picks.

If Castillo gets selected in any round, he'll become the sixth scholastic standout drafted the past five years from the area – joining Canisius' Dan Dallas (2016, San Diego), Lockport’s Nick Hamilton (2015, Boston), Orchard Park’s Dave “Bubba” Hollins (2014, Detroit), Clarence’s Mark Armstrong (2013, Cincinnati) and Amherst’s Jonah Heim (2013, Baltimore).

The last time a Western New Yorker was selected in the first round was 1978 when the New York Yankees selected Williamsville's Matt Winters – 24th overall. The highest a player from the 716 has gone in the draft – according to News records dating back to 1965 – is LaSalle High star Rick Manning going second overall in 1972 to the Cleveland Indians.

There was a slight chance Castillo could have been a first-day selection, as he said he heard from a couple of teams Monday morning.

“They told me to just sit back and wait and to have my phone with me,” he said. “They told me to enjoy the evening and wait for tonight.”

However, he was not among the first 75 players selected Monday.

If Castillo does get selected, it’s because he has two things no one in any sport can coach. He has size and speed.

The All-Western New York first team football wide receiver runs the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds. The All-Western New York baseball pick also has a knack for hitting the ball really hard and really far.

He finished this past season with a .588 average, nine home runs, 26 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, a .622 on-base percentage and a 1.028 slugging percentage. He received nine intentional walks.

Castillo hit a couple tape-measure home runs that produced a collective "whoa" from players, coaches, fans and even umpires – including blasts against Clarence and Hamburg that travelled a guesstimated 450 feet.

"Every scout I've talked to said there's a lot of raw talent," Lancaster coach Mark Dalfonso said. "That's the thing. They say you can't coach strength and speed.

"For him to be in this position, it just didn't happen. He's a hard worker. He's constantly trying to get better. … Once a Major League Baseball club gets a hold of him and trains him like they want to train him, I think the sky's the limit."

Should Castillo get that call informing him of his selection, it'll be more than something.

"It's going to be magical," Castillo said. "It'll be special. My dreams would've come true. All the hard work my parents put through and I put through is finally coming through."

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