NEW CANAAN, Conn. Curt Casali has played in only 35 professional baseball games, but he is already getting the attention of his big league club. The New Canaan native tweeted Tuesday that he has been named a non-roster invitee to the Detroit Tigers' major league camp at spring training.
Casali, a catcher, was drafted by the Tigers in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft last June. After graduating from Vanderbilt University and making a run in the College World Series, the New Canaan High alum was assigned to the Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League in Norwich. He was promoted to Detroit's Low-A team, the West Michigan Whitecaps after 10 games with Connecticut.
In 35 games in the minors in 2011, Casali hit for a .243 average with three home runs, 16 runs batted in and a .771 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. He also threw out 12 of 40 runners from behind the plate, good for a 30-percent rate.
Casali was quarterback of the New Canaan High football team in 2006 when the Rams won the first of four state championships in a row. He also was a part of the conference champion baseball team the following spring.
While Casali is unlikely to get the call to the big leagues, the invite to spring training could mean a promotion to Advanced-A Lakeland or even Double-A Erie. Either way, Casali will start the 2012 season one step closer to Detroit.
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