Triston Casas had gotten off to a rough start to begin the 2021 minor-league season.
After the 2020 season was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Casas made Double-A Portland’s Opening Day roster out of minor-league spring training earlier this month.
Coming into Wednesday night, the 21-year-old was carrying with him a .182/.280/.182 slash line with no extra-base hits and just two RBI through his first six games of the young season.
Wednesday served as somewhat of a springboard for Casas though, as the first baseman put together his best performance with the Sea Dogs to this point in Hartford, Conn.
Matched up against the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A affiliate of the Rockies, at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Casas crushed his first two home runs of the year as part of a 4-for-6 night at the plate.
The first homer came off Rockies minor-league right-hander Will Gaddis in the top of the fourth inning and was an absolute no-doubter to right-center field.
The second homer came off righty Nate Harris with runners at the corners in the top of the sixth and was hit to nearly the same location.
Casas also knocked in two more runs on a two-run double in the seventh to finish the evening with six RBI as part of a commanding 14-3 victory for the Sea Dogs.
After Wednesday’s impressive showing, the left-handed hitting Casas raised his batting average on the season to .286 and now sports an OPS of .891.
“I’m feeling really good physically and mentally,” Casas told MiLB.com’s Michael Avallone following Wednesday’s contest. “Tonight I just shortened up my approach, didn’t go out of the [strike zone] and had some success. Hopefully I’ll keep riding this as long as I can, but I’m really happy to be back out there. I feel good.”
Casas, a native of Miami, was originally selected by the Red Sox with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 amateur draft.
Since then, the American Heritage High School product has risen through the ranks to the point where he is now regarded by Baseball America as the top prospect in Boston’s farm system and the 39th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Casas is still a ways away from garnering any big-league consideration. But if he shows that Wednesday’s performance was not a fluke and he can start to handle Double-A pitching on a consistent basis, then he might just be knocking on the door sooner rather than later.
“I’m not putting any expectations on myself this year. I don’t have any specific numbers in mind,” Casas said to Avallone. “I just want to stay healthy, go out there every day and play hard to see where it gets me. I’m not Major League ready yet. I have a lot of work to do, but I’m happy to do it and get where I want to go.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was among those who was impressed with what Casas did on Wednesday night, as he told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) Thursday afternoon.
“He’s a good hitter,” Cora said. “He hasn’t played much baseball since he signed but it’s good to see him putting good swings. He knows the game, he knows his swing and he knows what to do with his swing. This is a guy — the future is bright, the way we see it, and he’s a very important piece of this organization.”
(Picture of Triston Casas: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)