Red Sox prospect Triston Casas focused on honing his skills at Worcester

WORCESTER — The Red Sox’s top prospect, Triston Casas, has proven his ability to handle pressure situations at nearly every level during his young professional career.

There’s still a step to take before he finally achieves his goal, but he’s ready to play on baseball’s biggest stage at the major league level. The 22-year-old first baseman could be close to making that leap in 2022, but there’s still plenty of time to hone his skills for the Worcester Red Sox.

Casas has already learned that there is a big difference at each level, especially after competing in Double A and Triple A in 2021. He also understands that the next level will be entirely different, but he is ready to prove that. is worthy.

“Each tier has its own issues, its own issues and its own increments, which explains the number of minor league development tiers,” he said. “There are other sports that are more physically inclined that you are able to dominate another player simply because you are more capable than that person. With each level that I have gone up, I have learned more about myself- even as a hitter, more on the game. It’s obviously picked up, and it’s faster.

He was one of the youngest players on the roster last season at Portland and Worcester. When he got to the Arizona Fall League, he was one of the players his age, and that’s where he learned the difference and felt he could finally dominate, which he did. to marble.

“I could definitely see a difference at every level, and I can’t wait to see the difference at the major league level,” he said.

Hard work awaits us

Even though it looks like the 2022 season could be the year Casas finally achieves his goal and makes his major league debut, he isn’t taking anything for granted. He understands that he still has to work hard because it will not be given to him.

“I don’t have a timeline, but I’m trying to do it as quickly as possible,” said Casas, who added he wants to have an immediate impact when he finally gets promoted to Boston.

Since being selected 26th overall in the 2018 draft, Casas has said being part of the Red Sox organization has been a blessing.

WooSox slugger Triston Casas waits to take the field for his Triple-A debut on Sept. 22 against Rochester at Polar Park.

“Over the past five years, I’ve been around a lot of great people who have really helped me grow as a baseball player, but more importantly as a human,” Casas said. “It says a lot about the people around me.”

As he focuses on his future and making it to the big leagues, the current lockout between MLB and the players’ association could hamper his schedule. Yet he only worries about the things he can control and will no doubt be ready when that call comes.

“Finally, one day we will play another game again,” he said. “We’ll see who worked and who didn’t. … I don’t know when spring training is going to start, but I’m going to take every possible day to improve myself and go into spring training in the best shape possible.

Psyche for Grandpa

On Tuesday, Casas saw Red Sox legend David Ortiz inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Casas explained that he only met Ortiz once, in a spring training game on St. Patrick’s Day in 2019.

As Ortiz is at the club regularly, Casas said he hopes to learn how to be a clutch player similar to the new Hall of Famer. Casas said he watched the ad and was thrilled with Ortiz.

“It was awesome,” Casas said. “I know how much he means to the city of Boston and how much he won as a Red Sox. I can only hope to emulate a bit of that, or even if I get close to half that, it will be a fulfilled career, because he has done so much for the game and the Red Sox nation. I will try to represent as best I can and it is a good figure to follow.

Similar to Ortiz, Casas is hoping to put up some serious power numbers. It’s already evident that the young hitter has the work ethic, desire and talent to post impressive numbers.

Currently, he is 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds and believes he has not sacrificed any mobility for weight and strength during his development. He’s gained 25 pounds since turning pro and is comfortable with his impressive frame.

He understands that he is still growing physically and mentally. He also has a high baseball IQ and admits he thinks on-base percentage is much more important than slugging percentage. It’s a mature mindset for a young hitter, and it’s exactly what the Red Sox expect of him. It also helps that Casas exudes confidence.

Triston Casas signs his batting gloves for a young fan after the final home game of the WooSox inaugural season September 26 at Polar Park.

“To be a power hitter, you shouldn’t be trying to hit home runs or trying to make things happen,” he said. “I know I’m big enough, strong enough and more than capable enough to harness that power, it’s just a matter of whether I’m swinging on the right grounds in the right counts, and whether I’m mentally engaged in what I’m trying to accomplish in the box.

Learn to be patient

After succeeding at Double A, he quickly learned that pitchers are much better and unafraid at higher levels. He hit .284 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs in 77 games with the Sea Dogs. He batted out just 63 times in 329 plate appearances and walked 49. After his promotion to Worcester, he hit .242 in nine games, including 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs and 7 RBIs.

Casas was able to stay consistent at the plate and in the field at first base.

“I realized that once I started to be a little more patient, draw more steps, and stop swinging on marginal pitches, and stayed towards the batting zone, as opposed to the strike zone, I was much better,” he said. “That’s what I will try to attack in 2022.”

Casas said he felt close to where his swing needed to be headed in spring training. He really didn’t have too much offseason and he kept his daily routine under control all winter, while training in Florida.

Hopefully, COVID will be closer to the past this baseball season, and those prospects can finally have a somewhat normal year.

“Anyway, I know what my job is when I walk into the box,” he said, “so no matter what state, country, time of day, I know I’m going compete and that’s the most important thing.”

—Contact Joe McDonald at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JoeyMacHockey.

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