A Red Sox rookie with major power potential: Triston Casas
First base was a wasteland for the Red Sox last season. Boston ranked 28th in the majors at the position with a .210 AVG, 24th with a .369 SLG, and 22nd with 25 home runs. The emergence of Triston Casas will lead to first base being among the most significant upgrades the Red Sox made for this year.
Casas had his first taste of the big leagues at the end of last season. While his woeful .197 batting average suggests he struggled to adapt to the higher level, there were encouraging takeaways from his introduction to the majors.
Triston showed a keen batting eye with an elite 20.0 BB% during his brief time with the Red Sox. His penchant for drawing walks resulted in a strong .358 OBP despite the disappointing AVG. His knack for getting on base will keep him in the lineup through the expected slumps that most rookies endure as they adjust to this level.
He hasn't hit more than 20 home runs in a season at any of the minor league levels but he has posted a slugging percentage of at least .480 in each of the last three years, including a .500 SLG in the minors last year.
He only hit 12 homers in Triple-A last year but he was limited to 76 games by an injury in addition to his time away for the Olympics. Casas led Team USA to a silver medal by leading the tournament with three home runs. Casas hit five home runs in only 76 at-bats with the Red Sox last season, proving he's capable of taking major league pitchers deep.
Triston Casas' swing focuses on driving the ball and getting on base, but the hulking first baseman has the raw power to leave the yard without swinging for the fences every time. The 23-year-old is expected to develop into a power threat and we should see him begin to emerge in his first full season.