Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, the club announced Tuesday, and will receive a bonus of $2,035,500 according to MLB.com.
Gillaspie, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior, is a switch-hitter. He hit .389 with 15 home runs, 15 doubles, 58 walks and 50 RBIs. He led the Missouri Valley Conference with a .682 slugging percentage, a .520 on-base percentage and 58 walks.
“I'm able to relax a little bit and I wanted to come here and sign early so I can get going and start my career as a professional baseball player,” he told reporters Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
He is the 14th player from Wichita State drafted in the first round and the highest pick since the New York Mets selected pitcher Mike Pelfrey No. 9 in 2005. Older brother Conor Gillaspie, who played third base at WSU from 2006-08, went No. 37 overall to San Francisco in 2008.
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Pitcher A.J. Ladwig, picked in the 11th round by Detroit, will fly to Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday and sign, according to his father, Craig. He expects to start his career at Connecticut, Detroit’s Class-A short-season team.
WSU pitcher Cale Elam, an undrafted senior, will also sign with Detroit, according to pitching coach Brent Kemnitz.
Haddox lands at NAIA school — Sophomore outfielder Joe Haddox will transfer to Oklahoma City University, according to his Twitter account.
Haddox, from Moore, Okla., played in 21 game last season, hitting .129 in 31 at-bats.