NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- New Canaan High School graduate Curt Casali is now just one step away from the Major Leagues after a hot start to the 2014 season earned him a promotion to the AAA level in the Tampa Bay Rays organization on Saturday, according to the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser.
Casali was invited to the Rays' Major League camp in spring training this season, but was not considered a top prospect in the team's system. An incredible knack for getting on base may just change that opinion.
The 25-year-old catcher and designated hitter earned a promotion to the Rays' AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls, after posting a solid .314 batting average and an astounding .500 on-base percentage in 96 plate appearances with AA Montgomery, according to Baseball Reference.
The Major League average for on-base percentage is about .320. Very few players even crack .400 in on-base percentage. Casali is blowing that average away, reaching base half of the times he comes to the plate.
Casali has been solid on defense as well, throwing out 31 percent of would-be base stealers in his three-year minor league career. He has yet to commit an error on defense this season in 126 chances.
He was drafted out of Vanderbilt University by the Detroit Tigers in the 10th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball amateur draft. He was traded to the Rays before the start of the 2013 season.
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.