University of Minnesota assistant coaches Pat Casey and Ty McDevitt spoke about baseball analytics at SportCon hosted by the University of St. Thomas Tuesday.
University of Minnesota head baseball coach, John Anderson announced Thursday that volunteer assistant coach Patrick Casey has been promoted to full-time assistant coach and Gopher alum Ty McDevitt has been hired as the volunteer pitching coach.
Patrick Casey was hired as full-time assistant coach in September of 2016 after previously serving as the volunteer assistant from 2014-2016 for the Gophers. Casey is the Gophers primary hitting and catching coach while also handling recruiting duties and is charge of summer placement of current players throughout the country while running the annual Dick Siebert Fall League.
Since Casey has donned the maroon and gold uniform, Minnesota has turned into an offensive juggernaut leading the Big Ten in hitting (overall and in conference play) in both 2016 and 2017 averaging over 600 hits per/season in that span. Since 2015 Casey has helped develop some of the finest offensive players in the Big Ten, helping 12 different players eclipse the .300 mark including Michael Handel (2015 All Big Ten), Matt Fiedler (2016 Big Ten Player of the Year), Toby Hanson (2015 All Big Ten 3rd Team), Micah Coffey (2015 & 2016 All Big Ten 2nd Team), Alex Boxwell (2016), Connor Schaefbauer (2016 All Big Ten 1st Team), Dan Motl (2016 All Big Ten 2nd Team), Austin Athmann (2016 All Big Ten 1st Team), Terrin Vavra (2016 & 2017), Alex Boxwell (2016), Jordan Kozicky (2017 All Big Ten Freshman Team) and Jordan Smith (2017).
Casey was instrumental in the development of Matt Fiedler, the 2016 Big Ten Player of the Year, and his catcher, Austin Athmann, was also an All-Big Ten First Team Selection in 2016 leading the Big Ten in homeruns and total bases. Fiedler was drafted in the ninth round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals after finishing his career with a .337 average in 130 games with 163 hits, 12 homeruns, 32 stolen bases and 72 RBI’s. Athmann was selected in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers finishing his career with a .330 average in 117 games with 124 hits, 12 homeruns, 22 doubles and 58 RBI’s.
Through the use of analytics and new-age technology, Casey has changed the approach of the offense for the Golden Gopher program. He’s been instrumental in the improvement of the entire programs hitting infrastructure in just three seasons in the Twin Cities as the Gophers hitting coach.
Casey has coached an offense that peaked to a No. 3 overall offensive national ranking in 2016 with a final club batting average of .327, which currently sits as the highest mark since 2003 and seventh all-time in program history. Minnesota finished the 2016 regular season leading the Big Ten in batting average, slugging percentage, hits, RBI, total bases and finished second in home runs. Seven hitters under the tutelage of Casey earned all-conference honors during Minnesota run to the Big Ten Championship in 2016.
In 2017, the Gophers offense once again established itself as one of the most potent offenses in the country leading the Big Ten in average (.297), hits (701), least amount of strikeouts (263), while finishing in the top three in slugging percentage, on base percentage, total bases and runs scored. Minnesota averaged eight hits per game which was within the top 30 highest averages in the country while their 20 triples were also within the top 30 most in the NCAA. The Golden Gopher offense posted 17 games of 10-hits or more in the spring of 2017 (after posting 22 games of 10-hits or more in 2016). Under Casey, both Micah Coffey, Toby Hanson and Jordan Kozicky all flourished earning accolades as All-Big Ten performers.
Cole McDevitt, First Team All-Big Ten catcher, blossomed under Casey and became the first duo along with Austin Athmann to be named First Team All-Big Ten for the Gophers in back-to-back seasons. McDevitt finished his sophomore season with a .296 average (.314 in Big Ten play) to go along with 34 hits, 22 RBI and 42 total bases. Behind the plate McDevitt posted a .983 fielding percentage with 27 assists, 206 putouts and threw-out 35% of would be base stealers. Minnesota catchers have finished in top five since 2016 in thrown-out would be base stealers while finishing in the top of the conference for fewest amount of passed balls.
As the head of summer placement for the Gophers, Casey has developed one of the best funnel systems in the country. In the summer of 2015, Casey placed 24 Gophers on the rosters of 11 Northwoods League teams, one of the top summer leagues in the nation. Seven of those players were invited to the Major League Dreams Showcase and five ended up making the Northwoods League All-Star team.
In 2017, 15 more Gophers were placed in the Northwoods League while three other Golden Gophers were placed in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
Casey came to the University of Minnesota from Butler University in the Big East Conference, where he served as hitting coach from 2013-14. He also worked with infielders, catchers and base runners, assisted with recruiting and coordinated the Bulldogs' travel.
Prior to Butler, he previously spent five seasons at the University of St. Thomas, where he was part of five MIAC championships, five NCAA Regional appearances and two Division III College World Series, including winning the 2009 National Championship.
Casey was the Tommies' volunteer assistant for the 2007-08 season, and then served as the catching and hitting coach for the next four seasons. In his first season working with the catchers, the group's rate of throwing out base stealers improved from 16 to 45 percent. The Tommie backstops also cut down on errors, passed balls and catcher's interference calls by more than 50 percent. The catchers' fielding percentage improved each year under Casey.
Casey was the first recruiting coordinator in St. Thomas baseball history, bringing in dozens of all-state and all-conference performers in three years. He also handled public relations and media for the Tommies.
Casey coached three seasons with the Northwoods League's Waterloo Bucks. He was an assistant in 2012 before being promoted to hitting and third base coach in 2013. He was named 2013 Northwoods Coach of the Year after the Bucks won a league-record 51 games and made their first playoff appearance since 2002. During his time in the Cedar Valley Casey helped develop the 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year, David Kerian and current Chicago Cubs and Top Minor League Prospect, Chesny Young.
In the fall of 2012, Casey was selected by the Minnesota Twins to attend Major League Baseball Scouting and Development School. He served as an associate scout for the Twins in the Midwest in spring and summer of 2013.
A native of Bloomington, Minnesota Casey graduated from the Academy of Holy Angels and went on to play collegiately at the University of North Dakota where he was a 3-yr letter winning catcher for the Fighting Sioux.
Casey graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature Arts with a Writing Emphasis.
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