Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas in the lineup for first spring training start

Red Sox prospect Triston Casas.. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
Red Sox prospect Triston Casas.. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox are giving prospect Triston Casas a spot in today’s lineup

Mixing up the lineup is a common trend throughout spring training as the Boston Red Sox experiment with various options and aim to get playing time for everyone in camp but a new wrinkle in Monday’s batting order involves Triston Casas.

The 21-year-old is getting his first Grapefruit League start this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays. Casas will serve as the designated hitter and bat eighth in the lineup.

J.D. Martinez, the team’s regular DH, is playing left field today. The Red Sox are thin at that position while Franchy Cordero works his way back from COVID-19 and Danny Santana deals with a foot infection.

Casas missed most of training camp with a non-baseball medical issue. He made his first appearance on Sunday when he replaced Xander Bogaerts as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. Casas grounded out to first base in each of his plate appearances and saw time on the field at both first base and third. ranks Casas as to the top prospect in the Red Sox farm system and No. 44 overall. He has impressive raw power with great bat speed but he’s more than just a typical slugger. Casas is an advanced hitter for his age who controls the strike zone and can hit the ball to all fields.

As a 19-year-old in 2019, Casas hit .256 with a .830 OPS, 20 home runs and 81 RBI in 120 games split between two levels of A-ball.

Casas advanced to High-A Salem for a brief two-game stint in 2019 but last year’s cancelled minor league season prevented him from climbing any higher in the organization. He isn’t on the radar for a spot on the Opening Day roster and probably won’t make his major league debut until next year at the earliest.

Despite that his timeline doesn’t project him to arrive in Boston anytime soon, Casas is still getting an opportunity in the lineup at a point in spring training when most players with his limited experience have been assigned to minor league camp. The time he missed this spring preventing him from getting this opportunity sooner is certainly a factor but it also speaks to the maturity the Red Sox see in Casas. They already trust him against a pitching staff complied mostly of major league players or prospects in the upper levels of the Rays minor league system.

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Casas probably won’t be getting many more of these chances in the starting lineup as the Red Sox aim to get more at-bats for their regulars as Opening Day approaches. As long as he’s here though, fans can enjoy a glimpse of his promising future.