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The Emergence of Triston Casas

One calendar year into his MLB career, he’s starting to flourish as a middle-of-the-lineup bat.

New York Mets v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

He certainly started his Big League career with pizazz.

Two hours before his debut, he’s sunbathing in right field. If you’re not accustomed to Casas’ pre-game routine, it was a regular occurrence in the minors. In the pros? It's not going to fly. Still, Casas paints his nails, showing his flair off the field.

I’m not a hater in the least bit; in fact, I love him showing his personality. I love how he does it despite all the haters, too.

Even before this season, Dan was gushing about Casas wanting to/hopefully becoming the next Red Sox star.

Personality aside, this was a big year for Casas. His first full-time season in the Major Leagues. Would he make the transition and become the first baseman of everyone's hopes and dreams? A slow month of April suggested...not quite yet. Well, he continued on the trend of proving haters wrong and since then, has become one of the most dominant hitters in all of baseball.

Let’s break down some stats first:

If his numbers post-All-Star break were the same as pre-break, then he’s a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year. Even with his current numbers, he’s a top-three candidate in my books. Josh Jung or Gunnar Henderson may win, but Casas has to be in some consideration.

Let’s look at his power. He’s hit 14 homers since the break, and they’re going everywhere. He’s not a strictly pull-power hitter. Oppo tacos, center field smashes, and frankly, right-center dingers are more his forte than drilling lasers down the line. Look at his spray chart:

Triston Casas’ 2023 hits spray chart
He gets hits everywhere!
Baseball Savant

We’ll start with home runs. I count eight homers in the left-center to straightaway-center zone, ten in the right-center area, five down the line in right, and one that eked over the Monster in left. How about singles, that pop up everywhere along the infield and outfield? Doubles are the one case where you can see a lot of pull-down-the-line tendencies, but even still, there are enough Monster scrapers and other left-field plot points to look at.

OK, but is he at risk of regressing right now? His expected stats tell a very clear story.

Triston Casas’ 2023 MLB Percentile Rankings
Lots of red is quite a good sign.
Baseball Savant

That story is no. Expected on-base and slugging, hard and consistent contact, even his chase and walk rate, they’re well into the upper echelon of MLB’s hitting talent.

How about the clutch factor? He hits homers early. He hits them late. He hits them in dire situations. He hits them against some of the league’s best talent. He’s unafraid of the situation and does a ton of damage.

I know Jake Wallinger wrote last week about how important it is for Casas to develop to showcase that the farm system is worth more than its salt, and hopefully, this is just the beginning. What we see in both Casas and Brayan Bello this year, maybe we see in Ceddanne Rafaela or Wilyer Abreu next season? Kyle Teel got drafted in July and two months later, he’s already been promoted to AA. Marcelo Mayer—though injured and struggling in AA—is still an absolutely hyped-up prospect in the infield. But all of that is conjecture about the future and just the future. Triston Casas is both the future AND the now. Dan wrote about it in May when Casas was starting to make his turnaround. He hadn’t had his moment yet, but it would come. Well, has it ever come. The spotlight deservedly shines on Casas to become a cornerstone of the Red Sox for years to come.