With MLB bloodlines and big time college production, a prospect like Casey Gillaspie will always draw interest from MLB clubs. Though his brother has been unable to produce at a high level as a major leaguer, the younger Gillaspie is showing potential that surpasses that of his sibling. Casey put himself on the map with a solid 2013 campaign as a sophomore in which he hit .299/.447/.517 with 11 home runs and a stellar 62/35 K/BB ratio, stealing 5 bases and doubling 16 times. This season, he has taken his game to new heights with an otherworldly .402/.511/.687 slash line and 12 home runs in 219 plate appearances. He has once more shown tremendous plate discipline with 40 walks against just 20 strikeouts, and he is a perfect 8 for 8 on stolen base attempts.
Gillaspie's appeal goes beyond the stat sheet. He has an ideal body for a first baseman, checking in at a filled out 6'4", 238. He has broad shoulders and hips that he uses to generate a lot of power, and he has sneaky athleticism in his frame, moving fluidly. He looks comfortable on the field and moves fairly well. While he is a first baseman only and thus offers little defensive value, he projects to defend his position well and won't have coaches scrambling to find ways to keep his bat in the lineup. He has solid speed for a player his size and shouldn't struggle to stretch hard hit balls into doubles like some first basemen tend to.
At the plate, Gillaspie shines. He brings value in his ability to switch hit and has gorgeous swings from both sides. He uses his long frame to extend and drive the ball, and he generates great loft with his back leg. He explodes through the ball at the hips and keeps his arm action quiet. His smooth, sweet mechanics cover the plate exceptionally, and he has plenty of power to boot. The hit and power tools are the strongest for Gillaspie, and that's exactly what you want out of a first baseman.
A polished, impressive bat, Gillaspie has the potential to rise quickly up an organizational ladder and become a middle of the order of the hitter in the big leagues.
Projected Draft Round
A mid-round prospect preseason, Gillaspie is one of the quickest rising names in the draft and will battle with Kyle Schwarber to be the top first baseman selected and a mid-first round selection. His draft floor is probably the early second round.
Will He Sign?
As a college junior who has seen his stock skyrocket, Gillaspie is a virtual lock to sign.