Rays pick Casey Gillaspie with No. 20 pick
ST. PETERSBURG – Casey Gillaspie watched his brother star in college, become the No. 37 pick in the draft and bat better than .330 in the majors.
Gillaspie finally scored a big point in the sibling rivalry Thursday night in the first round of the amateur draft.
The Rays chose Wichita State’s first baseman with the No. 20 overall pick – 17 spots better than his brother, Conor, went in 2008 before reaching the big leagues.
“It was cool when it happened, but now I’m ready and focused on making that next impact,” Gillaspie said.
The 6-foot-4 switch hitter from Omaha, Neb. led the Cape Cod League with eight home runs last summer, so he’s shown power with wooden bats. He followed that up this spring for the Shockers, blasting 15 home runs – tied for fifth in the country – and walking an NCAA-best 58 times.
Gillaspie didn’t need to look too far for his advice. His dad, Mark, starred at Mississippi State and averaged 17 home runs over his eight seasons in pro baseball. He never reached the big leagues but led the minors with 122 RBIs in 1983.
And his older brother, Conor, went to the Giants with the No. overall 37 pick out of Wichita State in 2008. The third baseman is hitting .336 with 18 RBIs for the White Sox and gave his younger brother some advice before the draft – relax and try to have fun.
“He’s kind of guided me through this whole draft process,” Gillaspie said in a conference call with reporters. “He told me to enjoy it. I’m thankful to have him. He’s been through it all.”