Boston Red Sox infield prospect Triston Casas moves up the list in the latest edition of MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospect rankings.
Cases comes in at No. 77 in these revised rankings, up from No. 85 in the previous edition.
In his first full minor league season, Casas hit .254 with a .820 OPS, 19 home runs and 78 RBI in 118 games with Single-A Greenville. He earned a brief promotion to High-A Salem where he went 3-for-7 with a double and a homer.
The scouting report from MLB Pipeline describes a powerful hitter with a keen batting eye.
"“Casas’ bat speed, strength and the leverage in his 6-foot-4 frame give him as much raw power as anyone in the 2018 Draft. He’s more than just a slugger though, because he lets his pop come naturally and has more feel for hitting and more plate discipline than most players his age. Though his size adds obvious length to his left-handed stroke, he makes repeated hard contact to all fields.”"
He swiped three bases last year but a player with his frame isn’t expected to be much of a threat on the base paths and he’ll lose more speed as his body fill outs. His strong throwing arm made him a good fit at his natural position at third base but he might be limited to first base if he loses lateral quickness as he grows and puts on weight.
His rise in the rankings shows scouts were impressed by his performance last season. Baseball America was even higher on Casas in the ratings they released last week, ranking him No. 70.
The Baseball America list also included Bobby Dalbec at No. 75, giving the Red Sox two prospects in those rankings. Dalbec didn’t make the cut with MLB Pipleine but they did rank him as the seventh best third base prospect.
The gap in their projected ceilings isn’t reflected in the proximity to their respective rankings. Players who are closer to the big leagues are easier to project and are therefore viewed more favorable in theses rankings. Most of the top 10 prospects on either list are expected to reach the majors within the next year or two, if they haven’t already had a taste of big league action.
Dalbec should make his major league debut this season and might even crack the Opening Day roster if the Red Sox don’t make any other moves to fortify the first base position behind Michael Chavis. Dalbec made Baseball America’s list but he’s essentially reached his ceiling in terms of prospect rankings with his eligibility potentially expiring this year.
The modest ranking for Casas undersells his upside, in part because he’s several years away from reaching the majors. As he climbs the minor league ladder while other prospects ahead of him graduate to the majors, Casas should skyrocket up this list.
He’s not a five-tool talent and doesn’t play a premium position, which may prevent him for cracking the top-10, but he’s still a very valuable asset. With his raw power and plate discipline, Casas should one day be in the conversation as one of the game’s best hitting prospects.