Triston Casas Makes Adjustments At Plate
For most prospects, the coronavirus pandemic-derailed season created concerns about the potential drag on their development. For Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas, however, the opposite may have occurred.
The 21-year-old first baseman was ticketed for High-A to open the 2020 season, but the cancellation of the minor league season led the Red Sox to invite Casas to their alternate training site, giving him an opportunity to face Triple-A and big league pitchers and to pick the brains of hitters with similar experience levels.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound, lefthanded hitter proved a sponge.
“He’s mature beyond his years and has physical ability and strength that continue to grow and develop,” Red Sox farm director Brian Abraham said. “The work ethic, the desire, the passion for the game, the willingness to improve is there. The sky is the limit for him.”
Casas grew up emulating Joey Votto, and has always prided himself on having a sound overall approach at the plate. But while he used left and right field in roughly equal measure in his first full season in 2019—he hit .256/.350/.480 with 20 homers at Low-A Greenville—at the alternate site he developed a more aggressive approach early in counts.
Coupled with the elimination of a leg kick that allowed him to get to pitches on the inner half of the plate, Casas showed an improved ability to drive the ball to right-center even as he faced more advanced opponents.
“Now, with zero and one strikes, I try to just not take big swings, but not feel like I got cheated on any swings I take up there,” Casas said. “And then when it comes to two strikes, just battle and put together a good at-bat.”
That blended approach could allow the 2018 first-rounder from American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla., to follow an aggressive development path. Ideally, the Red Sox would have him open 2021 in Double-A.
— After nine years overseeing the organization's player development, Ben Crockett was promoted to senior vice president of baseball operations. Brian Abraham was promoted from director of minor league operations to director of player development.
— Former Rangers pitching coach Julio Rangel joined the Red Sox as a pitching coordinator. He will work with upper-level pitchers.