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2020 Red Sox Top Prospect Voting: Triston Casas takes the top spot

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No surprise here.

Triston Casas
Kelly O’Connor; https://sittingstill.smugmug.com/

Our top prospect voting started during a most tumultuous week for the Red Sox and while there are some questions about how they may be able to retool their farm system moving forward. This is still not a great system, but they saw some steps forward in 2019. Still, I think we had a pretty good idea of who was going to take the top spot, and sure enough he ran away with it. Triston Casas is our number one prospect in the system, taking a whopping 83 percent of the votes.

Casas came into the 2018 draft as one of the more intriguing high school bats in the class despite being seen by pretty much everyone as a first base prospect. Prior to the draft he was ranked 20th by MLB Pipeline and 25th by Baseball America. He ultimately fell to the Red Sox at 26th and they took the chance to snag the big swinger and ended up signing him to a slot-value deal.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to really show what he could do in the summer after he was drafted. Casas played in only two games in that 2018 season, hurting his thumb in his second game of the year.

That, of course, led to some anticipation for his first real season as a professional as he was healthy heading into camp in 2019. He made it through camp and was sent to Greenville one year after playing in high school. It wasn’t an overly aggressive placement considering he was a first round pick, but there was some risk here considering he wasn’t really able to get his feet wet the year before. Sure enough, he got off to a slow start, hitting .208/.284/.364 in the first month of the season. Encouragingly, he was able to dig himself out of that hole and looked like the real deal the rest of the way, hitting .264/.363/.496 from the start of May through the end of June. Even with the slow start, he finished ninth in the South Atlantic League in wRC+. That performance was enough for him to get a late-season promotion to Salem for their last two regular season games as well as their run in the postseason.

As far as the scouting goes, the question for Casas as the plate coming out of the draft mostly surrounded his hit tool. There were plenty of people who saw a good chance he could be average there while others saw that as much more unlikely. He did strike out 23.5 percent of the time in Greenville, but it seems the consensus has become a bit more optimistic here. The hit tool doesn’t need to be elite, only good, because his power is the carrying tool. He put up a .218 ISO in his first full season and basically everyone agrees his power is safely above-average. Defensively, the experiment with him at third base is essentially over — he played there some in 2019, but his last start at the hot corner was on July 12 — so he’s only limited to first base. That certainly puts a lot more pressure on the bat, but I think it is up to the task. Plus, it should be mentioned that scouts generally see him as an above-average defensive first baseman.

In 2020, it’s basically just looking for Casas to continue on this path and show that his bat is for real. He has put on even more muscle this winter and is a certifiable giant at this point. He is pretty much certainly going to be in Salem to start the season and I would expect him to stay there pretty much all year. There’s a chance to push him aggressively if he has a huge first half, but it’s certainly not something I’d be expecting.

Here is our list so far:

  1. Triston Casas

Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number two. 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...