Red Sox to add first base prospect Triston Casas Go to the team tomorrow, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive. The report has been confirmed Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe, he added that Bobby Dalbec will be drafted into Triple-A Worcester. Casas is currently not on the club’s 40-man roster, which means they will have to open a spot for him.However, it probably boils down to transferring someone to a 60 day IL, e.g. Tannerhawkwhich was previously reported to be complete this season.
The 22-year-old Casas was selected by Boston with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 208th round. He got a brief stint on rookie ball that year and jumped into the A-ball at the start of 2019. He hit 19 homers on Greenville Boulevard while hitting .254/.349/.472 for a 136 wRC+ and a brief promotion to High-A to end the year.
After a stellar first full season as a pro, he was listed as the sport’s 70th prospect by Baseball America. Of course, that year’s minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic, and Casas couldn’t play organized ball that season. In 2021, he split his time between double-A and triple-A, hitting 14 homers and slashing .279/.394/.484. He has 15.4% of his outs as walks and just 19.1% of them as strikeouts, with a wRC+ of 141.
After that stellar season, he jumped to No. 19 on BA’s 2022 top prospect list and appears to be a candidate to make his major league debut this season. The Red Sox insisted on Dalbeck as their first baseman to start the year, while Casas was sidelined in May with an ankle injury and returned to Worcester in late July. In this year’s AAA game, he has a wRC+ of 127, shooting percentages of .273/.382/.481, and a 14.5% shot rate compared to just 21.5%. He is currently No. 28 in Baseball, No. 14 in FanGraphs and No. 31 in The Athletic’s Keith Law.
Red Sox fans have been calling for the move for some time, not just because of Casas’ strong showing but Dalback’s struggles. After hitting 25 homers last year and hitting a wRC+ of 107 at .240/.298/.494, he slipped to .211/.282/.363 this year. His 78 wRC+ proved that yield was 22% below the league average. Based on these disappointing results, he and Casas will swap places and Dalback will head to the minors to try and get back on track.
The Red Sox are seven games behind the Blue Jays for the final American League wild-card spot with three teams in between, making it difficult for them to have a serious playoff run in the final month of the season. Regardless, they’ll give Casas a look at the rest of the season to see how he handles major league pitching in the next few weeks and hopefully bring some momentum into next season as we head into the winter. Eric Hosmer was acquired from the Padres at the trade deadline, but is currently in IL. Assuming Casas plays enough to earn himself regular minutes, the club will have to figure out how to balance the two on the squad.
With the offseason just a few weeks away, Casas is unlikely to hit 130 at-bats in 2022, meaning he will remain a rookie/prospect through the winter. That’s a potentially important note under the new collective bargaining agreement. Players with less than 60 days of service appearing on two preseason top 100 rosters in Baseball USA, ESPN, or MLB Pipeline can earn extra for their teams based on their early career completion in awards voting Amateur draft picks, as long as their club carries their full year of service on the MLB roster. If Casas is off next year’s Opening Day roster and stays consistent all season, and he wins Rookie of the Year or tops MVP voting in previous seasons, the club could get additional draft picks in the future right.
Image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.