When Triston Casas’ .OPS bottomed out at .563 on May 1st, many people were calling for a change (not me though, I’m smart). Bobby Dalbec was hitting a lot of home runs in Worcester and, even though he was striking out nearly forty percent of the time, droves of fans wanted him back up with the big club. But the Red Sox, to their credit, stuck with Casas.
From the beginning of May, Casas began a steady climb out of the statistical hole his April had left him in. He continued to get steady at-bats through the dog days of summer, and now here we are in the final days of August.
Triston Casas sits at fifth amongst major league first basemen in .OPS, as well as 18th and 25th amongst ALL MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS in .OPS and wRC+, respectively. Since May 1st, he has produced a slash line of .289/.384/.532/.916 with 18 home runs and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of better than 2:1. He is a stud.
Even if nothing else has gone right this year, we still have what would very well seem to be our first baseman of the next ~decade. But this isn’t to say that Triston Casas is some underdog success story. He was a highly touted first round draft pick and sat on Top 100 prospect lists basically his entire minor-league career. But what Triston Casas is, is a glimmer of hope.
For the first time since RAFAEL DEVERS IN 2017 (That is seven (7) years ago, for those keeping count), it would appear that the Red Sox have drafted/signed and developed an above-average position player. Along with Brayan Bello, who is the first above average starting pitcher the Red Sox have drafted/signed and developed since JON LESTER IN 2006 (That is eighteen (18) years ago), the beginnings of a core are starting to appear.
Are Casas and Bello enough on their own? No. Certainly not. But as I said, they’re giving us some hope. Hope that all of this mediocrity has been for something. Hope that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Hope that this tunnel ends next year. Maybe we need to get all of the Red Sox’ top prospects some nail polish...