After slashing .270/.387/.454 over 85 games with Double-A Montgomery, Casey Gillaspie was promoted to Triple-A Durham, where he followed up with an even better line over 203 plate appearances. He combined for 18 homers, 64 RBI and 54 extra-base hits between the two stops while improving his strikeout rate, contact rate and ISO metrics against the higher quality of competition. Although his walk rate took a bit of a hit at the Triple-A level, Gillaspie has displayed decent plate discipline overall throughout his minor league career. The extent of his power remains somewhat in question, with Gillaspie having topped out at 16 homers over 268 plate appearances at Low-A Bowling Green, but a full season at Triple-A Durham should provide clarity on the matter.
Gillaspie, 24, has slashed .258/.333/.419 across 36 plate appearances with Triple-A Durham this season. Gillaspie, a first-round pick in 2014, has shown excellent plate discipline throughout every stop of the minors, but since he can only play first base, the Rays will probably need him to flash more power in the upper minors before giving him his first taste of the big leagues. With the Rays currently deploying a low-ceiling platoon at first base of Logan Morrison and Rickie Weeks, it's not hard to envision Gillaspie eventually finding steady at-bats once he's promoted.
Gillaspie was reassigned to minor league camp Thursday, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Gillaspie smacked three homers over 40 spring at-bats but hit only .200 and counted two doubles as his only other extra-base hits over that span. The 2014 first-round pick will look to improve on what was an excellent 203-plate appearance stint at Triple-A Durham in 2016 that included a .307/.389/.520 line.
Gillaspie went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in Wednesday's 3-3 Grapefruit League tie with the Red Sox. The 2014 first-round draft pick blasted his third round-tripper over the last four games when he took reliever Marcus Walden deep in the sixth. Gillaspie has had mixed results at the plate this spring (.241/.290/.552), but the power he's displayed in recent games has certainly been a highlight.
Gillaspie went 2-for-2 with three RBI from two home runs in Sunday's 8-2 Grapefruit League win over the Blue Jays. The switch-hitting 24-year-old blasted his first two homers of spring, one from either side of the plate. The first shot , which he hit right-handed, cleared the boardwalk in left-center, while the second, launched from the left side, landed over the right-field fence. Gillaspie, who has been focusing on increasing his power from the right side, is slashing .263/.333/.632 with a double, Sunday's pair of homers, six RBI, two walks and four runs over 19 spring at-bats.
Gillaspie, the Rays' 2014 first-round pick, went 1-for-3 with a two-RBI double in Monday's 7-2 Grapefruit League win over the Phillies. Gillaspie's line-drive two-bagger to center in the third snapped a 1-1 tie and brought home Dayron Varona and Nick Franklin. The 24-year-old, who's enjoyed a fairly rapid ascension through the Rays organization, slashed an impressive .307/.389/.520 with 13 doubles, two triples, seven homers and 23 RBI over 203 plate appearances at Triple-A Durham in 2016. Gillaspie is currently the organization's seventh-ranked prospect and could certainly lay the groundwork for a call-up later in 2017 with a strong spring and continued improvement at the minor league level.