A First Round Shocker Now a T-Bone
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Kansas City T-Bones announced today that the club has signed former first round pick and Wichita State University standout Casey Gillaspie for the 2019 American Association season.
Casey Gillaspie, a switch-hitting first baseman, was the 2014 first round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in the June draft out of Wichita State University. Gillaspie spent last season at AAA Charlotte playing in 71 games for the Knights, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He would hit .220 with three home runs and 22 RBIs.
In 2017, between Class AAA Durham in the Tampa Bay organization and Class AAA Charlotte with the White Sox, Gillaspie combined to hit .223 (102-458) with 20 doubles, 15 homers, 62 RBIs and 62 runs scored in 125 games. He began the season at Durham playing in 95 games, hitting at .227 clip (80-353) with nine home runs and 44 RBIs. Gillaspie was then traded to the White Sox who assigned him to AAA Charlotte on June 27, 2017 in exchange for LHP Dan Jennings. Gillaspie was placed on the DL a month into his stint in Charlotte after he fouled a ball off his foot on July 25th in a game at Buffalo. He would come off the DL on August 4 and finish the season playing in 30 games, launching six homers, driving in 18 runs and hitting .210 (45-105).
Gillaspie had a big year in 2016 with the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He would be named the Rays Minor League Player of the Year after combining to hit .284 (134-472) with 34 doubles, 18 homers, 64 RBIs, 78 runs scored and 80 walks in 132 games with Class AA Montgomery and Durham. At AA Montgomery in the Southern League, Gillaspie played in 85 games, hitting .270, knocking 11 home runs while adding 41 RBIs. He led the Rays minor league system in home runs, came in fourth in RBIs and finished 10th overall in average. Gillaspie was named the organization's Minor League Hitter of the Month for May and August, and for the third straight season, he was named to a minor league midseason All-Star Team. He would be promoted to AAA on Durham on July 14 where he made an immediate impact. He would have a total of 22 extra-base hits, good for third in the International League after the All-Star Break.
Overall at AAA, Gillaspie hit .307 in 47 games (55-179) with seven dingers and 23 RBIs. Following the season he was named the Best Power Hitter and possessed the "Best Strikezone Judgment in the Rays system" by Baseball America. The publication also named Gillaspie as the Best Defensive First Baseman in the Southern League, and they rated him the No. 9 prospect in the Rays organization entering the season.
Gillaspie would spend most of 2015 at low A Bowling Green in the South Atlantic League where he was named the team's Most Valuable Player. He hit 17 home runs at three stops in the Tampa system and ranked fourth among Rays minor leaguers. Gillaspie led the Hot Rods with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs while hitting .278 (65-235) 68 games. He finished second on the club in on base percentage (.358) in slugging percentage (.530) and in OPS (.888). He would earn the honor of being named to the Midwest League All-Star Team. His 16 bombs were good for second in the league, and after a huge month of June where he hit .282 with eight homers and 18 RBIs, he was named the Rays Minor League Hitter of the Month. He would be promoted to high A Port Charlotte but would miss nearly two months of the season with a broken finger suffered five games after being promoted the Florida State League. Gillaspie would hit .146 in 13 games with the Stone Crabs in an injury-shortened stint. He would play in 23 games for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League, and he finished the season rated by Baseball America as the Best Defensive First Baseman in the MWL.
In 2014 Gillaspie made his pro debut at short season A at Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League. He would be named to the league All-Star team where he led the league in walks (42) and was fourth in RBIs (42) on the season. For the season, Gillaspie hit .262 with seven home runs.
Gillaspie played three seasons at Wichita State, including his final year as a junior where he hit .389 with 15 home runs and 59 RBIs. He added 15 doubles and 58 walks while Collegiate Baseball magazine named him first team All-American, the first since pitcher Mike Pelfrey in 2005. Gillaspie's honors did not stop there; he was named the Missouri Valley Conference's Player of the Year, and he was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, both national Player of the Year honors. During his 2013 sophomore season, Gillaspie started all 66 games for the Shockers, hitting at a .299 clip with 11 long balls and 46 RBIs.
In his freshman season, Gillaspie was named to the first team Freshman All-American team by Collegiate Baseball after starting in 57 games out of 59 and batting .274 with eight home runs and 32 runs knocked in. The Omaha, Nebraska native attended Millard North High School where as a senior, he was the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in the state of Nebraska. The 6'4'' switch hitter grew up a natural right-hander, but he took up the left side when he was eight years old. Baseball also runs in his family: his brother Conor was a former Major Leaguer, and his father Mark was an All-American outfielder at Mississippi State and an 11th-round selection by San Diego in the 1981 draft. His father had an eight-year minor league career that included one season with the Royals AA club in Memphis in 1989.
Full and half-season 2019 ticket packages as well as mini plans are on sale now online by calling (913) 328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke's Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale now. Opening day for the T-Bones is set for Friday, May 17th at T-Bones Stadium when the T-Bones host the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to open the 2019 season.
2019 Offseason Roster
Position Name Hometown
RHP Robbie Gordon St. Louis, MO
OF Darnell Sweeney Miami, FL
IF Nick Basto Southwest Ranches, FL
OF Daniel Robertson West Covina, CA
RHP Dustin Hurlbutt Coffeyville, KS
INF Mason Davis Stone Mountain, GA
C Christian Correa Coconut Creek, FL
RHP Marcus Crescentini Tampa, FL
Utility Shawn O'Malley Southridge, WA
LHP Joe Filomeno Chicago, IL
RHP Jackson Lowery Little Rock, AR
IF Mikey Reynolds Glendale, AZ
RHP Tommy Collier Houston, TX
C Roy Morales Toa Alta, Puerto Rico
INF Ryan Brett Seattle, WA
RHP Dylan Baker Juneau, Alaska
OF Forrestt Allday Clearlake, TX
IF Dylan Tice Perkasie, PA
RHP Jesus Balaguer Havana, Cuba
RHP Marc Magliaro Monroe, NJ
RHP Corey Walter Wheeling, WV
LHP Eric Stout Glenn Ellyn, IL
RHP Adam Adkins Cedar Hill, TX
LHP Tim Hardy Monroe, NC
1B Casey Gillaspie Omaha, NE
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