Boston's Triston Casas Tweaks His Approach To Do More Damage
For Triston Casas, the transformation of power potential into games always seemed a matter of “when” rather “if.”
While the first baseman had prioritized contact through his amateur career and first three years with the Red Sox, his size—a mountainous 6-foot-5—and strength, along with an ability to hit occasional moonshots long suggested the possibility of future middle-of-the-order production.
In 2022, Casas made adjustments intended to increase his frequency of damage even as he maintained his trademark plate discipline.
Casas took more chances in narrow areas of the zone in hitters’ counts, accepting more frequent swings and misses. With two strikes, rather than employing an extremely spread-out approach and focusing on contact, he remained more upright while looking to do damage.
On the surface, his numbers altered little. In a season when he missed two months due to a high right ankle sprain, Casas hit .272/.383/.481 with 11 home runs, a 21.5% strikeout rate and 14.5% walk rate in 72 games for Triple-A Worcester.
Those number were similar to his .279/.394/.484 line with 14 homers, a 19.1% strikeout rate and 15.4% walk rate in Double-A and Triple-A in 2021.
Yet the 22-year-old's average exit velocity jumped from 89 mph in 2021 to 92 mph in 2022.
A September callup in which Casas hit .197/.358/.408 with five homers in 27 games added to that impression. Increasingly, he looks capable of at least above-average to plus on-base percentage and slugging numbers.
“Hitting the ball hard, no matter if it's with a negative launch angle or a really positive one doesn't really matter to me. As long as I'm hitting the right part of the ball, timing it up, squaring it up, I don't really care where it goes,” Casas said.
“Hitting the ball hard is the objective. People love home runs. People love contact. And I try to generate that as often as possible. I'm in the entertainment business.”
— The Red Sox sent several prospects to Driveline this offseason, including starter Chris Murphy and second baseman Nick Yorke.