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School: Wichita State; Class: Junior
Position: 1B; B/T: B/L Height: 6-4; Weight: 230 pounds
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: Constant development, year in and year out, across the board. Gillaspie has progressed from a nice enough showing during his freshman season (.274/.378/.442) to becoming one of the top bats – and arguably the top bat – in this year’s draft class by taking the right kinds of developmental steps forward – improved plate discipline and a steady increase in power, both being above-average skills at this point. In fact, it’s hard to find one specific area in which he hasn’t continued to show a strong development:
Note: Wichita State’s home field tends to slightly favor pitchers And the kicker: Of all the players eligible for the Cape last summer, Gillaspie, according to Runs Created, was the league’s top offensive performer (.321/.402/.521 and a RC of 34.492).
Projection: My favorite collegiate bat – bar none. Above-average power and patience, improving hit tool, the ability to his from both sides of the plate, and a reasonably strong glove at first. And while he’s not going to be a game changer in the professional ranks, I do think he’s the cream of the draft crop in terms of offensive upside, perhaps peaking around a .280/.360/.490-type hitter. Think Nick Swisher.
Ceiling: 4.0- to 4.5-win player
Floor: 2.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate
Draft Projection: First Round. I’d take him in the opening 12 picks, but he’ll likely slide given his relative lack of notoriety heading into the draft. He’s going to make some team in the latter half of the round very happy.
Photo of Casey Gillaspie Courtesy of goshockers.com.