Welcome to a new feature here at Over The Monster in which we will be looking at the best players on the farm from the past week. With the new minor-league schedule being implemented this year that has teams playing six-game series every week with Mondays off, there are no Minor Lines on Tuesdays. We figured rather than just leaving that timeslot blank every week, we’d hand out some fake, virtual hardware. Each week, we’ll pick players of the week for both position players and pitchers, as well as an honorable mention in each category.
Position Player of the Week
Triston Casas (Portland)
After having some lesser-known players take home our inaugural hardware a week ago, we come back in this second week of awards to hand one out to the number one overall prospect in the system with Casas. It was a little bit of a tough start for the former first round pick in his first week facing Double-A pitchers, but things got a whole lot better in the second week. He had a multi-homer game mixed in there and overall he hit .461 with three homers plus a double in a big turnaround for him.
Of course, there was never all that much concern about what he would be able to do at the plate, as there is a reason he is the top prospect in the system and roughly a top 50 prospect globally. Casas can do just about everything at the plate, as he showed of his big power a few times this week. He can also get on base at a high clip with a tremendous approach at the plate that is well beyond is years. He has said he looks up to Joey Votto, and it shows with the way he approached at bats.
The big question with Casas is how quickly the Red Sox will push him. Most likely his debut will come at some point next year, but I wouldn't totally rule out the possibility of him coming up towards the end of this season. Obviously we’re a long ways off from that, but if the Red Sox stay in contention and they need another bat in their lineup, and Casas is hitting well all year, he could very well be up. it would be a little bit of a rush, but this organization has shown a willingness to move people past Triple-A quickly. Chaim Bloom has talked up the importance of Triple-A so maybe a leader of the front office will lead to new processes, but it’s at least a scenario to keep in mind, even if it’s less likely to happen.
Honorable Mention: Cameron Cannon (Greenville)
Cannon wasn’t technically a first round pick, but he was the first selection from the Red Sox back in 2019. The team had their first pick moved back by 10 slots due to exceeding the luxury tax by over $40 million, and took Cannon with the early second round pick. He’s gotten off to a good start in what is his first full season with actual games, and this past week he hit .450 with four doubles plus a home run. There’s not a huge ceiling here as he is average-at-best at second and third base and has average-at-best power. That said, there is some of that versatility and a good enough hit tool that he could carve out a bench role at the highest level.
Pitcher of the Week
Brayan Bello (Greenville)
There were two pitchers competing for this spot and it was tough to decide who to give the top nod. Fortunately, I made this decision earlier in the week because they pitched on the same day and they were in competition for Player of the Day. Ultimately, we went with Bello for that, and we’ll go for him here as well. One of the my favorite sleepers in the system, he’s always shown the potential to be a good starter but he’s been wildly inconsistent as a pro. His start this week was an upswing, as the 22-year-old (he just turned 22 yesterday) tossed 5 2⁄3 innings, allowing just one run on two hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts.
Bello was not a high-profile signing coming out of the Dominican Republic, but he quickly started to put up impressive numbers in the pro ranks. He was a bit older than your typical Latin American signing, but he dominated enough in the DSL to get pushed right up to full-season ball the following year. He had two great stretches as well as one prolonged bad stretch that year, making his 5.43 ERA a bit misleading. He showed that he has the skills to be much better, but he couldn’t keep it up all year.
That’s the goal for the season, is to not only be good but consistently keep his team in games for each of his starts. This start was a flash of that dominance, with the 10 strikeouts, which he gets with a good fastball/changuep combination as well as a breaking ball. There’s some reliever concern here, but most see the breaking ball developing enough to give him a chance at a back-end starter future. Overall on the season he has a 1.59 ERA with 13 strikeouts and three walks over 11 2⁄3 innings.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Hart (Worcester)
There was certainly a case to give Hart the main nod here as he tossed six hitless innings in his lone start this week, though I opted for the dominance as Hart also walked four while striking out six. Whichever you choose between the two, you can’t really go wrong. As for Hart, he should be a familiar name after coming up for his big-league debut last season, though things went horribly before an injury cut his season short. Hart profiles as an up-and-down sixth or seventh starter, throwing from the left side and relying on deception rather than stuff. He’s off the 40-man now, but if he strings some good starts together he’ll get another chance, particularly with injuries to Tanner Houck and Connor Seabold.