1B Casey Gillaspie, whom the Rays selected June 5 with the 20th pick in the draft, signed Wednesday for $2,035,500, which was the value of his slot in the draft.
“I signed early so I can keep going and start my career as a professional baseball player,” Gillaspie said before the Rays’ game.
He begins his pro career at Hudson Valley (N.Y.), the Rays’ affiliate in the short season Single-A New York-Penn League. The Renegades begin their season Friday.
Gillaspie, 21, hit .389 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs as a junior for Wichita State this past season.
Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison was pleased to see his top pick so eager to sign.
“It says a lot about the player,” Harrison said. “This is not the end game for him, being a first-round pick and what comes with being a first-round pick. He wants to be a big-leaguer. We had lunch (Tuesday), and all he was saying was how he wants to go out, start playing and work his way to the big leagues. It was refreshing to see that.”