After a season-ending injury in the 2018 season, Triston Casas made an appearance at first base for the Boston Red Sox in spring training. What can we take away from his showing?
Triston Casas entered the March 17th St. Patrick’s Day game during the fifth inning where he played first base. He went 0-for-1, drawing a walk at his first at-bat and then struck out. While it’s still very early in his playing career, Casas is a player to watch out for in the Red Sox minor league system.
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The Red Sox selected Triston Casas in the 2018 draft, coming straight out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida. He signed a full-slot deal worth $2,552,800. Casas is 6’4, packs 240 pounds, and is a left-handed slugger. Triston played third base during his high school career and he is expected to be versatile in playing either third or first when needed. Red Sox amateur scouting director Mike Rikard was impressed with his opposite-field power at the plate.
"“He can hit the ball to left-center as far as many other right-handed hitters can when they pull the ball. That’s always been a big thing in scouting him. He’s got a very professional approach. Although he is a power hitter, he does have a nice plan at the plate and he was able to make adjustments and just as important, he can use he can use the whole field very well for a young hitter.”"
The young 19-year-old seems to have a comprehensive understanding of the playing field, an ability that is not easily taught. It’s something that Dustin Pedroia does really well: seeing the entire field. He knows when to hit a line drive or when to go across the diamond. It’s something that many players work to enhance their skills with. But time and again, we see players in the league unable to use the entire baseball diamond in their hitting tactics.
During his first at-bat on March 17th, he showed patience at the plate. He didn’t reach for balls that were outside of his zone. Instead, he had a solid plan while at the plate and he made adjustments where necessary. Since he was only up to bat twice, we don’t yet have enough data on him. From the little that I’ve seen so far, there is some promise.
As Damian Dydyn of BoSox Injection noted, it is likely to be three years before Casas makes his debut. His 2018 season was cut short due to a thumb injury which adds to our limited knowledge of Casas as a player.
What else should we know about Triston Casas?
He was the Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup. He was a tournament-leader in HRs and RBIs. He can play first base and third base. In addition, he can throw a fastball that reaches 92mph. The Red Sox interest in Casas impacted his decision to walk away from a commitment to the University of Miami.
MassLive’s Christopher Smith sat down for an interview with Casas and I learned a few interesting things about Casas from that interview. He is second-generation American and has a Cuban heritage. Casas played in the Red Sox Dominican Academy in El Toro during his rehab period. He was mentored by Eric Hosmer. Triston was raised by his father, who he credits as being his biggest role model growing up. He learned about baseball, respect, work ethic, and high standards from his father.
It’s too soon to tell if Casas will be boom or a bust. Casas is definitely one of the players in our system that has promise. Keep his name in mind over the next few seasons. He needs training, a better understanding of the majors, he needs to hone his skills. Will he be the next star or a name that we’ll soon forget? That depends on the work that he’s able to put in, the assistance of his coaches, and if luck is on his side.