Oakland Athletics purchase contract of INF Casey Yamauchi


NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that the Oakland Athletics had purchased the contract of INF Casey Yamauchi from the Frederick Keys. Yamauchi is the first MLB Draft League player this season to have his contract purchased by a Major League club and the fifth since the Draft League implemented a professional, second-half format in 2022. Yamauchi is the second Frederick player to have his contract purchased, joining 2022 Keys RHP Ryan Langford (Angels).

The MLB Draft League had 47 players selected in the 2023 MLB Draft, including 34 players who had played in the first half of the 2023 season. The Draft League set a new record with 19 players drafted during Rounds 3-10, including 12 players from the 2023 Draft League season. Additionally, six players were drafted within the first five rounds, led by the Draft League’s first-ever Top 100 picks in Sabin Ceballos (94) and Devin Saltiban (98).

The Draft League plays an amateur/professional hybrid-format season. After featuring exclusively Draft-eligible players during a 30-game first half of the season (June 1 to July 4), the Draft League transitioned to a professional league in the second half (July 7-Sept. 2), with undrafted, out-of-eligibility players signed to professional contracts comprising the six founding Draft League teams’ rosters while playing a 50-game schedule.

Yamauchi, 22, batted .462 (6-for-13) with two runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases in three games for Frederick before having his contract purchased by Oakland. He hit safely in all three games and had two mult-hit performances, including a 3-for-5 showing that included a double and two RBIs in his final Keys game on July 11. 

Yamauchi batted .367/.426/.485 across 167 career games at the University of Hawai’i-Hilo, finishing as the program’s all-time leader in hits (240), runs scored (147), doubles (49) and stolen bases (74). Yamauchi batted .404/.500/.654 with 24 extra-base hits and 23 stolen bases in 43 games as a fifth-year senior this past spring, building off a 2022 campaign in which he slashed .403/.438/.527 over 45 games. As a result, Yamauchi garnered honors as an ABCA/Rawlings West All-Region and All-PacWest Second Team selection and received an NCBWA All-West Region Honorable Mention. Yamauchi also was recognized for his academic achievements this year as a College Sports Communicators Academic All-America Third Team selection.

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