At a young age people dream of the opportunity to play professional baseball, and in only a few days that dream will become a reality for some talented players around the country.
After putting up monster numbers in his junior campaign at Wichita State, Casey Gillaspie is one of the top position players in this year’s draft. A 6’4”, 238-pound switch-hitting first baseman, Gillaspie has the potential to move through an organization quickly, while being a middle of the order hitter in the big leagues.
Check out what he had to say about his three seasons at Wichita State and the upcoming MLB Draft:
Why did you decide to attend Wichita State?
I attended Wichita State because of the history of the program and it was my best scholarship offer.
Where you recruited by any other programs?
I wasn’t heavily recruited by anyone other than Wichita State.
Where you surprised you didn’t get drafted coming out of high school after putting up monster numbers in your final two seasons and winning Player of the Year your senior year?
I wasn’t very surprised because being from Omaha, Nebraska I knew it wasn’t where a lot of scouts looked for top talent.
This season you put up big numbers and won the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year award, what was the reason for your success?
I think a lot of my success this year has come mainly from maturity. I was able to deal with failure better this year and focus on the next pitch more successfully.
You are a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, what would it mean to you if you won this prestigious award?
It would be a great accomplishment not only on a personal level, but also it would be great to win it for Wichita State athletics.
What do you feel are the strengths of your game?
I think my strengths for the game are the ability to think with the game and my ability to be a student and learn things that are taught to me quickly.
What areas of your game would you like to continue to improve on?
I would just like to improve my leadership skills and to continue working on all the little things of the game.
What advice has your brother, Conor, given you about playing professional baseball?
Not much advice has been given me, but I would say one thing he has told me is to enjoy the process, the guys you meet, and all the wonderful opportunities that will be ahead of me.
What MLB player do you feel your game resembles the most?
I would say Miguel Cabrera. Not only because he hits for power but his knowledge of the strike zone while he’s hitting, and his ability to control the bat in certain situations.
What are your expectations for the MLB Draft in a few weeks? Do you expect to be a first round selection?
I don’t have any expectations for the draft. I just am looking forward to possibly starting a new chapter in my life.
When your name is announced on draft day, what is it going to mean to you knowing that you are now on a path to one day playing in the Major Leagues?
It would be a huge blessing hearing my name (announced). Being able to play the game of baseball another day and impacting lives through the stage that is given to me will be a major advantage not many other players have.