Featured image courtesy of the Boston Herald
One of the most exciting players in the Red Sox minor league system is third baseman Triston Casas. Casas, the Red Sox first-round pick in 2018, has fantastic power potential and is already one of the most promising players in the entire farm system. Having spent so little time in the organization, Casas will likely start the 2019 season with either the Low-A Lowell Spinners or the A-Ball Greenville Drive.
Triston Casas: Red Sox Prospects
Dave Dombrowski selected Triston Casas straight out of high school, taking him with the 26th overall pick in the draft. Casas was supposed to spend 2018 in rookie ball, but he, unfortunately, suffered a thumb injury just two games into his professional career. The 18-year old underwent surgery to fix the thumb, but he should be 100% by the time the 2019 season rolls around.
Seeing as he suffered his injury so early in rookie ball, there’s a lot we don’t know about Casas. However, you don’t need a large sample to know this guy has serious power potential. Casas and his 6’-4”, 240-pound frame spent all of the 2017 and 2018 high school seasons destroying opposing pitching. Granted, facing high schoolers is a lot different than facing pro’s, but Casas was clearly a man amongst boys.
In 2017, Casas posted a .446/.559/.702 slash line with four homers in 24 games. Casas showed his 2017 success was no fluke, as he posted a .385/.545/.884 slash line in 2018 with seven homers. Spray charts don’t exist for high schools, but according to reports, Casas can hit for power to all three parts of the field. Obviously, we have yet to see if that potential carries over to the professional level. However, it’s easy to see why Dombrowski made him the Sox top draft pick.
What Needs to Improve
Like all young players, his swing isn’t perfect yet. He can hit for average and power against inexperienced players, but he has a wide swing with a few holes in it. As he continues to face better competition, opposing pitchers will be able to take advantage of those holes. This is really nothing to worry about long-term, as 18-year olds aren’t supposed to be completely developed players, to begin with. If anything, he has a better swing than the average 18-year old prospect.
Perhaps the biggest worry about his long-term development is his fielding. As previously mentioned, Casas has a massive frame. While he’s more athletic than the average 240-pound human being, there is still long-term worry about his ability to play third base. He has an absolute rocket of an arm, so the Red Sox won’t want to give up on playing him at third base for at least a few years. However, if he’s not capable of major league defense at third, he will probably shift to first base.
Regardless of which position he plays, Casas will always be a bat-first prospect. Being as young as he is, it’s hard to project any timeline for when he could make it into the major leagues. At this point, it’s best to just wait for the minor league season to start and see what a now-healthy Casas is capable of doing.