Leugim "LG" Castillo faced the biggest decision of his life this summer. Should the Lancaster High School baseball star accept the offer of a full scholarship to the University of Oklahoma, or should he sign a professional contract with the Milwaukee Brewers?
There were no bad choices, but on Friday Castillo made his decision: He'll join the Brewers, who took him in the 17th round (No. 504 overall) of last month's draft.
"This day last year was the day I made the decision to commit to the University of Oklahoma because I would better my future, create more opportunities for my family to pursue, and achieve my lifetime goals," Castillo wrote on Twitter.
"With that being said, I would like to announce that I will be signing with the Milwaukee Brewers as it will be the next step forward to making my ultimate dream come true. I want to thank everyone who has made this possible, & I will not let y'all down."
Castillo was facing a deadline to decide whether to play college or pro ball. He had to sign by next Friday, or his window to join the Brewers' organization would close.
"He sent me a text that just said, 'Brewer Nation,' " Lancaster coach Mark Dalfonso said when asked how he learned about the decision.
Castillo was considered the best baseball player to come out of Western New York's high school ranks this season. He was selected as The News' Prep Talk Player of the Year, and won the same honor as the area's best boys three-sport athlete.
He hit .577 with an on-base percentage of .622 and a slugging percentage of 1.028 for the Legends. Casillo had nine homers and 26 RBIs, and was walked intentionally nine times. Earlier this week he was selected as one of the outfielders on the MaxPreps All-American second team.
"He's obviously the most talented player I've ever coached," Dalfonso said. "This was my 10th year with the varsity, and it was 13 years with the JV before that. We had some pretty good kids, but none were of the caliber of LG.
"It's been an honor to coach him. It was great having a kid like him on the team. He carries himself well on and off the field. He's a great role model."
Castillo played center field for the Legends this past season, but he probably projects to be a corner outfielder in the pro ranks.
Financial terms of the contract have not been disclosed. It is common for players in Castillo's situation to receive a guarantee in their pro contract that the team will pay for his college education once his playing career is over. Dan Dallas of Canisius High School had that clause in his contract when he signed with the San Diego Padres last year.
Oklahoma did change head coaches in June. Skip Johnson, the Sooners' pitching coach, was promoted to that position after Pete Hughes was forced to resign. Dalfonso didn't know if that played a role in Castillo's decision, but did say that Castillo's lifelong dream is to play in the major leagues.