Powerful Triston Casas Focuses On Swing Decisions For Red Sox
Triston Casas cemented his top prospect credentials in a range of settings in 2021.
In his age-21 season, he impressed in big league camp, delivered a solid performance with Double-A Portland, emerged as a middle-of-the-order contributor for Team USA in the Olympics and then held his own when promoted to Triple-A Worcester in the final weeks of the season.
Casas then led the Arizona Fall League in on-base percentage while hitting .272/.495/.487.
Many project Casas as a middle-of-the-order fixture for the Red Sox, with the possibility of an MLB debut in 2022.
Still, it’s noteworthy that the mountainous, 6-foot-5, 265-pound Casas—who is expected to combine a plus hit tool with plus or better power from the left side—has yet to truly start slugging.
Casas hit 14 homers in 86 minor league games in 2021, then added one more in 21 AFL games. Seven of his homers came in a 12-game stretch.
Evaluators are mixed on what that means. Most love the versatile offensive approach of Casas, which includes a dramatic two-strike approach in which he spreads out his stance to eliminate movement in his lower half and chokes up considerably to be quick to the ball.
Yet, some are surprised that there haven’t been more displays of in-game power from a hitter who shows tape-measure raw power.
Still, Casas saw little reason for alarm.
“My whole career up to now I've always chased the on-base percentage as opposed to slugging percentage," Casas said, "because I feel like on-base puts you in a good process to make contact, grind out at-bats, swing at good pitches.
“To be a power hitter, you shouldn't have to try to hit home runs or try to make something happen . . . I know I'm plenty big enough. I'm plenty strong enough. I'm more than capable enough to tap into that power.
"It's just a matter of if I'm swinging at the right pitches and the right counts.”
— The Red Sox hired former Cubs and Rangers hitting coach Anthony Iapoce as their senior hitting coordinator.
— Righthander Frank German will continue his development as a reliever in 2022 after finishing 2021 in Double-A with an eight-inning stretch in which he allowed one run with 11 strikeouts and one walk. Acquired from the Yankees in the Adam Ottavino deal, the 24-year-old had struggled as a Double-A starter with a 5.42 ERA.