We continue to move along with our community top prospect list, and the first two were relative blowouts with a clear winner. That wasn’t the case this time around, as the third spot was a neck-and-neck race from the very beginning. The battle pitted a young, inexperienced pro with one a bit older and a few years under his belt. The young buck ended up taking the vote at the buzzer. Grabbing 20 of 51 votes (39 percent), just one more than the next closest in the voting, Triston Casas comes in as our number three prospect in the system.
Casas came into draft season with a little bit of buzz, but a few factors were going to keep him from being selected at the top of the first round. Instead, he fell down into the 20s and the Red Sox swept in and took the big infielder out of Florida with the 26th overall pick. He eventually signed a $2,552,800 signing bonus that was exactly the slot value of the pick. Casas was the team’s first high school position player taken in the first round since they took current number one prospect Michael Chavis in the 2014 draft.
Casas, meanwhile, understandably had a bunch of hype around him immediately after being drafted as the potential next big thing in the farm system. It was a lot of pressure, of course, but there was legitimate reason for it. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a whole lot of it in action in 2018. He played in just two games at the GCL — going 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts — before going down with a thumb injury he suffered diving for a ground ball. Just like that, his season was over. The good news is he was able to make it back for Fall Instructionals, though we don’t have any numbers from that time.
What we do have is scouting reports which suggest the excitement around this big left-handed bat is not totally unwarranted. It is said bat that leads to all of the hype, and it is the power in particular that leads the package. Casas has potential plus power and could be a true middle of the order bat threatening for 30+ homers year after year if everything comes together. Obviously there’s a long way to go between now and that point, but the raw potential is there. The big question is the hit tool, and this is where most of the disagreement in evaluator circles come with regards to Casas. There is definite swing-and-miss in his game right now, and some of it likely won’t go away. How much he is able to get rid of is a real point of contention, though. Some see a below-average hit tool as his ultimate landing point, which would obviously hurt the power output and in turn the overall package. Others are most optimistic, however, seeing an ultimate average-or-better tool. In this case, Casas could become a real force at the plate. How often he strikes out, particularly as the year goes on, will be the number one focus in his first real professional season. Defensively, they may try him a bit at third base, but virtually everyone agrees he’ll end up at first base and profiles well there.
The 2019 season is going to be a very interesting one, assuming they push the 19-year-old to Greenville for a full-season debut. That’s generally the move with early-round prep bats, and Casas is talented enough to make that leap. Still, if Chavis has taught us anything it’s the importance of patience with high school players, particularly those who have to work on their hit tool. Casas’ batting line will of course be the number one focus every day, but keep an eye on where he’s playing defensively, too. Greenville could have a glut of players who need third base reps, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if Casas’ shift to first base happens sooner than later.
Here is our list to this point.
- Michael Chavis
- Darwinzon Hernandez
- Triston Casas
Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number four. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. Until next time...