We look back five years at the Tampa Bay Rays’ top ten prospects of the 2016 season and where they are now.
We’ll be using the MLB Pipeline’s rankings from the end of 2016 for our check-in to see how the Tampa Bay Rays‘ top 10 prospects are doing now. We start with the man who finished 2016 as the Rays’ 10th best prospect.
10. Casey Gillaspie
Casey Gillaspie was a first-round draft pick in 2014. The 6’4” 240-pound first baseman was selected with Tampa Bay’s 20th overall pick and found himself ranked as their eighth-best prospect heading into the next season.
Gillaspie projected as a powerful, switch-hitting first bagger. He projected as 20+ homer threat with quality defense at first. He moved very well around the bag for a guy that could be a pro-wrestler.
Baseball Prospectus set his major league ETA as 2017.
In 2015 at Low A-Bowling Green, Gillaspie lived up the standard he set in college when he finished the 2014 season at Wichita State with a .394/.524/.692. He smashed 16 homers in just 234 at-bats in Bowling Green that season. Gillaspie slashed .278/.358/.530.
He was promoted all the way to AAA-Durham the following season where he slashed .307/.389/.520. Casey Gillaspie’s stock was on the rise.
As you would imagine, Gillaspie found himself in Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list prior to the 2017 season.
Gillaspie was traded by the Rays midway through the following season. 2017 was a disaster for Casey Gillaspie in Durham. He slashed .227/.296/.357 before breaking his toe. His success from the previous season still carried enough value that the Rays were able to move him to the Chicago White Sox for lefty reliever, Dan Jennings.
Gillaspie went straight to AAA-Charlotte for the White Sox where he continued to struggle. Gillaspie would only muster a .210 batting average with a .300 on-base.
In 2018, things didn’t get much better. He slashed .220/.285/.325 with only three home runs.
By 2019, the former first-round draft pick found himself in playing for the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.