There's no need for Red Sox to panic about Triston Casas' slow start
By Tim Burke
There was a lot of hype surrounding Red Sox first base prospect Triston Casas to begin the season. The 23-year-old power-hitting first baseman is the most exciting Red Sox prospect since Rafael Devers. He has impressed at every minor league level and is projected to be a significant part of the Red Sox core for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, he has started the season poorly, hitting only .128 with a .563 OPS in 26 games. Simply not good enough to be an MLB-caliber player. However, there is no reason to panic about the 2018 first-round pick. Casas's road to the MLB was swift, considering his injury history and the canceled 2020 minor league season.
Watching a highly regarded prospect struggle in the big leagues is frustrating, but it is normal for young players to struggle to begin their careers. Highly regarded prospects such as Gunnar Henderson and Anthony Volpe are going through similar struggles. There is no need to panic about the slow start to Casas's career.
Tristan Casas had a better April for Red Sox than his stats indicate.
One area that Casas has impressed is patience. He has generated 17 walks this year, and his OPS is 153 points higher than his batting average. Casas is an intelligent hitter who is in command throughout his plate appearances with elite discipline. Unfortunately, he is not getting results.
Earlier in the season, Alex Cora spoke about Casas's struggles in a postgame press conference. I think he’s a little bit out in front,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “You can tell his contact point is not there. This is still the case for Casas in May who may need to adjust mechanically to get better contact on his swings.
The Red Sox have several coaches and veteran hitters who can help Casas make the necessary mechanical adjustments to succeed at the big league level. Casas is still Boston's best option at first base; keeping Turner as the DH is likely better for his health at this stage of his career, and Dalbec had his chance to be the team's long-term first baseman over the past two seasons.
I know the results Casas has at this point in the year are not up to standard, but Dustin Pedroia started his career similarly and then became rookie of the year. Casas has a fantastic approach at the plate and possesses elite plate discipline at just 23 years old. I believe he is only a couple of adjustments away from being a special major league player. It's a marathon of a season, and Casas has plenty of time to turn it around.