Top Red Sox prospect Triston Casas on pace to make an impact
The offseason may have just begun but it’s impossible to not look forward to the 2022 season. We may not have any MLB action to watch right now but the Arizona Fall League is firing on all cylinders right now and the Red Sox have some big names doing big things. Of the players in the AFL that have ties to Boston, it’s Triston Casas that is setting the stage for the biggest moves next year.
It’s hard to gauge prospects at this current stage since COVID wiped out the 2020 MiLB season and essentially halted everyone’s development. Some players displayed that rust during the 2021 campaign but Casas was one of the ones the continued to shine. Not only did he see a promotion from Double-A to Triple-A, but he also did some damage in the Olympics this summer.
One area that the Red Sox have the most questions about in the lineup is first base. As of now, Bobby Dalbec is the sole first baseman on the team as Kyle Schwarber has elected for free agency. However, Alex Cora and Chaim Bloom have both made it clear that they’re in contact with Waltham’s favorite son and a reunion could be in the cards for Schwarbs and Boston.
If Schwarber does return, I think he’ll continue to platoon with Dalbec at first while also spending time in the outfield and at DH. So where does Casas fit into the equation?
Sadly, I think the arrival of Casas would coincide with the departure of Dalbec. Bobby has dynamite in his bat and has shown his ability to play strong defense at first, and Chaim could turn that into one hell of a trade package. But again, that outcome all hinges on whether or not Schwarber returns.
Let’s look at another scenario, Schwarber doesn’t return which means the Red Sox are left with just Dalbec. A promotion for Casas would make more than enough sense at some point in 2022, especially if he continues to absolutely rake, and now we’d have exactly what Boston needs.
A tandem at first base that would allow Cora to alter his lineup based on the pitching matchup. He’d effectively have a power-hitting first baseman from each side of the plate.
I’m sure many out there will have nightmares of Jarren Duran in regards to all of the positivity surrounding Casas at the moment, and rightfully so. Fans clamored for Duran to make his debut in 2021 and when he did it didn’t go as planned for anyone.
He’d have flashes of the powerhouse we saw in the Minors but he just couldn’t seem to make it click in the Majors. I can understand an apprehension that Triston may go the same route, but he just feels like a different player.
Both Bloom and Red Sox GM Brian O’Halloran spoke about Casas at the GM Meetings and their remarks couldn’t have been more glowing.
"“We just saw it as an opportunity for continued development,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said here at the GM Meetings about sending Casas to play in the AFL. “He’s so important to us. And that’s a great venue to develop players. Some of what he did this summer as far as the Olympics and so forth was amazing developmentally but it also cost him some reps. Just the logistics of playing for Team USA and going over there. So this is a chance to make up some of those.”"
Bloom isn’t wrong and Casas is fully taking advantage of his time in Arizona. He owns a monstrous .357/.471/.471 slash with one homer, five doubles, and 10 RBI. One thing about his stats that jumps out to me is his BB/K ratio as he’s sitting at 13/17.
I’ll take that ratio all day long for a young hitter as it means he’s taking his cuts but he’s also laying off plenty of junk. Having a damn near level BB/K puts a smile on my face as he’s doing almost as much positive as negative.
He’s been performing at such a high level that he was named to the AFL’s Fall-Star team and rightfully so.
I truly believe it’s a matter of time before Casas joins the Red Sox in 2022, it may not be right out of spring training, but the clock is ticking. Again, a big factor in his promotion relies heavily on him continuing to mash while also sprinkling in a dash of Schwarber exiting. If Boston is left with just Dalbec at first I think Casas’s trajectory will be expedited to add depth to the position.
Looking at the current crop of prospects in Boston’s farm system it’s easy to get excited about what Triston is doing on a nightly basis. As Bloom continues to re-stock the developmental system and build the team toward the future, Casas will definitely be an important building block. One thing that Bloom will have to address is the fact that he’s not currently on the 40-man roster but with the roster in flux, adding him won’t be a challenge.
"“Really just continuing the progress that he made this year and getting reps against good competition,” Red Sox GM Brian O’Halloran said. “And continuing to work on his defense as well. There weren’t specific markers or goals (the Red Sox set for him) other than to continue to progress on both sides of the ball.”"
At just 21-years-old, Casas has a lot of baseball ahead of him and he’ll continue to grow and develop with each passing season. With the current situation surrounding this roster, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him a Fenway Park before the season is over. He’s proving to be one hell of a player and he’s producing at every level he finds himself at. If what we’ve seen from him this year is any indication of what we can expect, then I think it’s safe to say that Triston Casas will be making some noise in 2022.