Rays sign 1st-round pick Casey Gillaspie

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have signed their 2014 first-round pick Casey Gillaspie. The team announced the signing on Tuesday.

Gillaspie was selected 20th overall out of Wichita State University. During his just-completed junior season at Wichita State University, the switch-hitter batted .389 (82-for-211) with 15 home runs, 50 RBI, a .520 on-base percentage and .682 slugging percentage in 59 games. He tied for fifth among all Division I players in home runs and led the nation with 58 walks. He led the Missouri Valley Conference in homers, batting avg., on-base pct., slugging pct. and hits, tied for first in RBI, tied for second with 50 runs scored and tied for sixth with 15 doubles.

Gillaspie was rated the No. 1 first baseman in the draft, college or high school, by Baseball America. This season he was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy. He was also named a first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, the first Shocker to earn the honor since Mike Pelfrey in 2005. Last summer he led the Cape Cod League with eight home runs while playing for the Falmouth (Mass.) Commodores and was named to the Cape Cod League All-Star Team.

The switch-hitting first baseman is being assigned to Hudson Valley of the Class A New York-Penn League.

Casey's older brother Conor is a third baseman with the Chicago White Sox.

Their father, Mark Gillaspie, was an All-American outfielder at Mississippi State University and an 11th-round selection by the San Diego Padres in the 1981 June Draft. He went on to play eight seasons in the minor leagues.


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