Pitcher Miguel Ruiz was the first overall selection in the Mexican Pacific League’s annual free agent draft, held recently in Obregon. Ruiz was chosen by the Hermosillo Naranjeros, who were dealt the top pick by Mexicali as part of the trade that sent Chris Roberson to the Aguilas. Ruiz is currently pitching for Campeche in the Mexican League.
Guasave took pitcher Luis de la O (Veracruz) second, followed by Navojoa’s choice of Laguna outfielder Jesus Romo. Los Mochis picked Hugo Perez, Culiacan chose Reynosa pitcher Oscar Hurtado, Mazatlan picked Veracruz pitcher Carlos Santamaria, Alexis Martinez went to Obregon and Hermosillo took Reynosa pitcher Arturo Mejia.
The draft continued for several rounds, with rights to a total of 73 players disbursed. One intriguing pick was Mazatlan’s late-round selection of Vinny Castilla...NOT the former MLB All-Star who retired from winterball in Hermosillo last season, but his nephew, who is a pitcher.
The Mex Pac draft involves teams selecting league rights to eligible domestic players not currently on any LMP team’s 60-man reserve list. Teams are also required to drop one player from their reserve list per pick to keep their number at 60.
There was also a draft of foreign-born players who are currently playing in the Mexican League. Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wen Hung was the first extranero picked by Mazatlan.