He may have gone hitless in his first start of the spring on Monday afternoon, but it was still encouraging to see top Red Sox prospect Triston Casas back on the field.
The 21-year-old infielder made his spring debut against the Twins on Sunday and went 0-for-2 after pinch-hitting for Xander Bogaerts in the sixth inning of an eventual 5-5 draw with the Twins.
On Monday, he started at designated hitter and eventually moved to first base while going 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk and a strikeout batting out of the nine-hole.
Again, even while not getting into the hit column against the Rays on Monday, Casas still put some of his tools on full display by drawing a six-pitch walk off Hunter Strickland in the second inning and by smoking a line-drive flyout to right field off left-hander Josh Fleming in the fourth.
Before making his Grapefruit League debut over the weekend, Casas had missed some time at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers after being evaluated for a non-baseball-related medical issue in Boston earlier this month.
Now that he is back at camp, it appears that the 2018 first-round draft pick will have the chance to get more in-game at-bats through the end of spring training.
“We know the hitter. I’m starting to know the player,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Casas earlier Monday morning. “He’s a guy that asks a lot of questions. He’s always checking where he’s at, what he needs to do. Yesterday, we had to move him to third base, and you could see he was prepared. He’s looking around, he’s looking at Carlos [Febles] pre-pitch. For him to get at-bats, it’s good. But just for him to be around us, it’s beneficial for us.”
According to Baseball America, the left-handed hitting Casas — listed at 6-foot-4 and 252 pounds — is the No. 1 prospect in Boston’s farm system going into the 2021 season.
The Miami-area native is projected to begin the 2021 season with Double-A Portland, but, as previously mentioned, he will presumably get the chance to get into some more Grapefruit League games these next few weeks.
“He had a big smile,” said Cora in regards to Casas’ first game back on Sunday. “For everything he went through the last few weeks, it was refreshing to see him out there.”
(Picture of Triston Casas: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)