Injured Red Sox prospect Triston Casas resumes baseball activities in Fort Myers

Injured Red Sox prospect Triston Casas started his hitting and fielding progression in Fort Myers on Monday and is ‘moving along well,’ according to the Boston Herald’s Steve Hewitt.

Casas sprained his right ankle on the basepaths at Polar Park on May 17 and has not appeared in a game since then. The 22-year-old first baseman was placed on Triple-A Worcester’s injured list on May 22 and has been rehabbing in Fort Myers since early June.

Initially, the Red Sox did not anticipate that Casas would be sidelined for too long. Due to the nature of his injury, however, the left-handed hitter could not swing a bat pain-free on account of the amount of stress he places on his landing foot.

It was only just recently that Casas was able to start swinging a bat again, Red Sox director of player development Brian Abraham tells The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith adds that the 6-foot-5, 250-pound slugger has begun hitting off a Tee.

Originally selected by the Red Sox with the 26th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft out of American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.), Casas is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in Boston’s farm system and the No. 18 prospect in all of baseball.

In 36 games with the WooSox this season, Casas has batted .248/.359/.457 (115 wRC+) with nine doubles, six home runs, 22 RBIs, 22 runs scored, 23 walks, and 35 strikeouts across 156 trips to the plate.

As of this moment, there is no definitive timetable for when Casas could return to Worcester’s lineup. That said, the Pembroke Pines native will likely need to complete a brief rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League before he is cleared to suit up for the WooSox again.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas has yet to participate in baseball activities since spraining right ankle on May 17

It has been more than a month since top Red Sox prospect Triston Casas last appeared in a game for Triple-A Worcester.

On May 17 at Polar Park, Casas sustained a right ankle sprain while running on the basepaths. He was placed on Worcester’s 7-day injured list on May 22 and has since made the trek to the Sox’ Fenway South complex in Fort Myers, Fla. to continue his rehab.

When Casas initially suffered the injury, the Red Sox believed the 22-year-old first baseman would only be sidelined for a short period of time. They have since learned it is more serious than originally expected.

As a left-handed hitter, Casas shifts most of his weight onto his right foot when he swings. Because of this sprain, though, the 6-foot-4, 252 pounder has had trouble pushing off his ever-important right ankle.

“In the beginning, we thought it was something minor,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) on Sunday. “Around the bag, he twisted his ankle. We thought it was going to be day-to-day. But he wasn’t moving well. And as you know, he’s a big dude. He’s a big guy. And he hasn’t been able to actually push off of it. It’s not something that we’re worried about.”

Prior to getting hurt, Casas — Baseball America’s 19th-ranked prospect — was batting .248/.359/.457 (115 wRC+) with nine doubles, six home runs, 22 RBIs, 22 runs scored, 23 walks, and 25 strikeouts over 36 games (156 plate appearances) with the WooSox this season.

Coming into the year, it seemed like Casas was in line to make his major-league debut at some point in 2022 after spending an extended period of time in Worcester. In his tenure as Boston’s chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom has stressed how important making adjustments in Triple-A is to a prospect’s development.

With this setback, though, Casas has missed out on important development time that could potentially impact his path to the big-leagues.

So that part, he’s missing at-bats and that’s the part that he’s actually disappointed in a sense,” said Cora. “But we expect him to keep moving forward, keep getting better

Given that he has not been able to push off his right ankle, Casas has yet to resume baseball activities but has begun running again, per Smith. That being said, there is still no timetable for when the Miami-area native could return to action.

“It’s just a matter of him being able to push off and move around,” Cora said. “When that happens, we’ll decide what we do. Right now, he’s just down there doing his rehab, moving around, but nothing yet as far as when he starts playing.”

(Picture of Triston Casas: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

MRI reveals Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer has sprained wrist, but shortstop ‘is expected to resume baseball activities soon’

After being placed on Low-A Salem’s 7-day injured list last Friday, top Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer traveled to Boston over the weekend to undergo further testing on his sore right wrist.

An MRI revealed that Mayer had indeed sustained a sprain, Red Sox director of player development told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier on Tuesday. While there is no timetable for his return, the shortstop is expected to resume baseball activities in the very near future, per Speier and MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith.

Mayer was selected by Boston with the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, Calif. The left-handed hitter has slashed .333/.386/.507 with 10 doubles, one home run, 13 RBIs, nine runs scored, four stolen bases, seven walks, and 23 strikeouts over 17 games (83 plate appearances) in his first full professional season with Salem.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 188 pounds, Mayer first began experiencing wrist soreness in late April, which led to him being sidelined for more than two weeks after playing against the Charleston RiverDogs on April 23.

Upon returning to Salem’s lineup on May 10, the soreness persisted and Mayer was limited to just four games before officially being placed on the injured list on May 20.

The 19-year-old is currently regarded by Baseball America as the top prospect in Boston’s farm system as well as the 12th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer placed on injured list due to wrist sprain; shortstop is in Boston to undergo testing

The Salem Red Sox have placed shortstop Marcelo Mayer on the 7-day injured list due to a sprained right wrist, per SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield. As noted by Hatfield, Mayer shared on his Instagram story that he is currently in Boston to undergo further testing on his wrist.

Mayer has been dealing with a recurring wrist issue since late last month. After playing against the Charleston RiverDogs on April 23, the 19-year-old did not appear in another game for Low-A Salem until May 10.

As was first reported by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, the Red Sox originally attributed that 17-day absence to workload management before later revealing that Mayer had been experiencing minor soreness in his right wrist, which further delayed his return to action.

Upon returning to Salem’s lineup as designated hitter on May 10, the left-handed hitting infielder went 6-for-18 (.333) at the plate with four doubles, three RBIs, one stolen base, one walk, and six strikeouts over four games. His last appearance came against the Lynchburg Hillcats this past Thursday.

On Sunday, Speier confirmed that Mayer is indeed in Boston to undergo testing on his wrist while also noting that he has “experienced ongoing soreness- no increase in severity – but the fact that it hasn’t gone away led to the decision to put him on the injured list and re-evaluate.”

Mayer, the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the top prospect in Boston’s farm system.

It has been an eventful first full season in pro ball for the California native, who is batting .333/.386/.507 (147 wRC+) with one home run, 13 RBIs, and four stolen bases across 17 games (83 plate appearances) on the 2022 campaign as a whole.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer dealing with minor right wrist soreness; shortstop has not played since April 23

Top Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer has not appeared in a game for Low-A Salem since April 23 and is currently dealing with minor right wrist soreness, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Per Speier, Mayer’s absence initially came as a result of team-implemented workload management, but has since developed soreness in his right wrist that will keep him sidelined through the end of the weekend.

Boston’s director of player development, Brian Abraham, told Speier that the club is hopeful Mayer will not land on the injured list and will instead be able to return to action for Salem’s next series against Myrtle Beach that begins on Tuesday. He also said that Mayer has still been able to participate in baseball activities, including swinging the bat, despite his wrist ailment.

Mayer, 19, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the top prospect in Boston’s farm system and the No. 15 prospect in all of baseball. The Red Sox originally selected the California-born shortstop with the fourth overall pick in last summer’s amateur draft.

After signing with the Sox for $6.664 million, Mayer made his professional debut in the rookie-level Florida Complex League and stood out there. To begin his first full season as a pro, the left-handed hitter has batted .333/.397/.491 (148 wRC+) with six doubles, one home run, 10 RBIs, nine runs scored, three stolen bases, six walks, and 17 strikeouts over 13 games (63 plate appearances) with Salem.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer off to quick start with Low-A Salem

Marcelo Mayer’s first full season in pro ball is off to a promising start.

With the first weekend of the 2022 minor-league season in the books, Mayer finds himself batting .538 (7-for-13)/.538/.692 with two doubles, six RBIs, one run scored, no walks, and one strikeout over his first three games (13 plate appearances) with Low-A Salem.

Donning the No. 10 with the Salem Red Sox, the left-handed hitter collected two hits on Friday, three hits on Saturday, and two hits in Sunday’s series finale against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians affiliate) at Haley Toyota Field in Virginia.

Through the first weekend of the Low-A season, Mayer ranks first among qualified Carolina League hitters in hits, tied for second in RBIs, third in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, 19th in slugging percentage, 14th in OPS (1.231), and seventh in wRC+ (209), per FanGraphs.

On the other side of the ball, Mayer made it a point of emphasis over the winter to improve as a defender after committing a team-high 10 errors in the Florida Complex League last year.

So far this year, the 6-foot-3, 190 pound shortstop has yet to commit an error and has already helped turn four double plays while logging 25 innings at the position.

Mayer, 19, comes into the 2022 campaign ranked by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline as the No. 1 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox, of course, selected the California native with the fourth overall pick in last summer’s draft out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista and signed him for $6.664 million.

After playing in the Florida Complex League in 2021, Mayer did not receive an invite to major-league camp this spring. He did, however, appear in four Grapefruit League games. And while he may have gone hitless (0-for-4) in those contests, Mayer did homer off Nathan Eovaldi in a simulated game at JetBlue Park on March 28.

The Red Sox figure to take things slowly when it comes to the development of their top prospect, who does not turn 20 until December. Based off the kind of start he has gotten off to in Low-A, though, it would not be too surprising if Mayer winds up finishing the season with High-A Greenville.

Boston does have a recent history of doing this sort of thing with its first-round picks. In 2019, 2018 first-rounder Triston Casas spent the majority of the year at Low-A but played two games at High-A to end the season. In 2021, 2020 first-rounder Nick Yorke earned a promotion from Salem to Greenville in late August and appeared in 21 games for the Drive.

Will Mayer follow suit and make the jump at some point in 2022? Only time will tell.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Ranking the top 33 prospects in the Red Sox farm system

Using information from four different publications (Baseball America, FanGraphs, MLB Pipeline, and SoxProspects.com), BloggingtheRedSox.com has ranked the top 33 prospects in the Red Sox farm system heading into the 2022 season.

To nobody’s surprise, this group is headlined by the infield trio of Marcelo Mayer, Triston Casas, and Nick Yorke. This is certainly interesting when you consider the fact that Mayer (2021), Yorke (2020), and Casas (2018) were the last three players the Red Sox selected in the first round of the amateur draft.

Mayer is regarded by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline as Boston’s top overall prospect, while FanGraphs and SoxProspects have him at No. 2. Casas, on the other hand, is ranked No. 1 by FanGraphs and SoxProspects but No. 2 by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. Yorke is ranked No. 3 by all four.

This is how the order was determined. For instance, the average of Casas’ four rankings and Mayer’s four rankings comes out to 1.5 [(1+1+2+2)/4)]. The tiebreaker went to Mayer since he is younger then Casas. From there, Yorke and 30 additional Red Sox prospects were ranked, with left-hander Jeremy Wu-Yelland rounding things out at No. 33.

With that, here is the full list of 33 beginning with Mayer and ending with Wu-Yelland. Let’s get to it.

1. Marcelo Mayer, SS

Baseball America organizational rank: 1
FanGraphs organizational rank: 2
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 1
SoxProspects organizational rank: 2

Average: 1.5

2. Triston Casas, 1B

Baseball America organizational rank: 2
FanGraphs organizational rank: 1
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 2
SoxProspects organizational rank: 1

Average: 1.5

3. Nick Yorke, 2B

Baseball America organizational rank: 3
FanGraphs organizational rank: 3
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 3
SoxProspects organizational rank: 3

Average: 3

4. Jarren Duran, OF

Baseball America organizational rank: 4
FanGraphs organizational rank: Not Ranked
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 4
SoxProspects organizational rank: 4

Average: 4

5. Brayan Bello, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 5
FanGraphs organizational rank: 8
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 5
SoxProspects organizational rank: 6

Average: 6

6. Jeter Downs, 2B

Baseball America organizational rank: 6
FanGraphs organizational rank: 11
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 6
SoxProspects organizational rank: 5

Average: 7

7. Blaze Jordan, 3B

Baseball America organizational rank: 7
FanGraphs organizational rank: 16
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 7
SoxProspects organizational rank: 7

Average: 9.25

8. Bryan Mata, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 8
FanGraphs organizational rank: 12
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 8
SoxProspects organizational rank: 10

Average: 9.5

9. Wilkelman Gonzalez, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 13
FanGraphs organizational rank: 4
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 10
SoxProspects organizational rank: 12

Average: 9.75

10. Jay Groome, LHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 10
FanGraphs organizational rank: 13
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 12
SoxProspects organizational rank: 8

Average: 10.75

11. Brandon Walter, LHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 11
FanGraphs organizational rank: 10
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 9
SoxProspects organizational rank: 17

Average: 11.75

12. Connor Seabold, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 21
FanGraphs organizational rank: 7
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 15
SoxProspects organizational rank: 11

Average: 13.5

13. Gilberto Jimenez, OF

Baseball America organizational rank: 23
FanGraphs organizational rank: 5
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 18
SoxProspects organizational rank: 9

Average: 13.75

14. Miguel Bleis, OF

Baseball America organizational rank: 20
FanGraphs organizational rank: 6
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 17
SoxProspects organizational rank: 15

Average: 14.5

15. Josh Winckowski, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 9
FanGraphs organizational rank: 27
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 14
SoxProspects organizational rank: 13

Average: 15.75

16. Tyler McDonough, 2B/OF

Baseball America organizational rank: 16
FanGraphs organizational rank: 14
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 19
SoxProspects organizational rank: 21

Average: 17.5

17. Thaddeus Ward, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 19
FanGraphs organizational rank: 18
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 16
SoxProspects organizational rank: 20

Average: 18.25

Ward underwent Tommy John surgery last June and will not be ready for the start of the 2022 season. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

18. Alex Binelas, 3B

Baseball America organizational rank: 17
FanGraphs organizational rank: 17
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 22
SoxProspects organizational rank: 18

Average: 18.5

19. Chris Murphy, LHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 12
FanGraphs organizational rank: 38
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 11
SoxProspects organizational rank: 14

Average: 18.75

20. Brainer Bonaci, SS

Baseball America organizational rank: 18
FanGraphs organizational rank: 20
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 21
SoxProspects organizational rank: 22

Average: 20.25

21. Ronaldo Hernandez, C

Baseball America organizational rank: 27
FanGraphs organizational rank: 9
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 24
SoxProspects organizational rank: 23

Average: 20.75

22. Matthew Lugo, SS

Baseball America organizational rank: 14
FanGraphs organizational rank: 31
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 13
SoxProspects organizational rank: 28

Average: 21.5

23. Kutter Crawford, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 15
FanGraphs organizational rank: 21
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 25
SoxProspects organizational rank: 27

Average: 22

24. David Hamilton, INF

Baseball America organizational rank: 25
FanGraphs organizational rank: 15
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: Not Ranked
SoxProspects organizational rank: 26

Average: 22

25. Connor Wong, C

Baseball America organizational rank: 29
FanGraphs organizational rank: 23
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: Not Ranked
SoxProspects organizational rank: 16

Average: 22.67

26. Noah Song, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 30
FanGraphs organizational rank: 19
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: Not Ranked
SoxProspects organizational rank: 19

Average: 22.67

27. Ceddanne Rafaela, IF/OF

Baseball America organizational rank: 22
FanGraphs organizational rank: Not Ranked
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 28
SoxProspects organizational rank: 24

Average: 24.67

28. Nathan Hickey, C

Baseball America organizational rank: 24
FanGraphs organizational rank: Not Ranked
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 23
SoxProspects organizational rank: 29

Average: 25.33

29. Eddinson Paulino, INF

Baseball America organizational rank: 28
FanGraphs organizational rank: 34
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 20
SoxProspects organizational rank: 25

Average: 26.75

30. Christian Koss, INF

Baseball America organizational rank: 26
FanGraphs organizational rank: Not Ranked
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 27
SoxProspects organizational rank: 31

Average: 28

31. Nick Decker, OF

Baseball America organizational rank: 39
FanGraphs organizational rank: 29
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 29
SoxProspects organizational rank: 30

Average: 31.75

32. Chih-Jung Liu, RHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 32
FanGraphs organizational rank: 30
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: 30
SoxProspects organizational rank: 39

Average: 32.75

33. Jeremy Wu-Yelland, LHP

Baseball America organizational rank: 31
FanGraphs organizational rank: 41
MLB Pipeline organizational rank: Not Ranked
SoxProspects organizational rank: 35

Average: 35.67

Other prospects who missed the cut but are still worth monitoring this season include pitchers Eduard Bazardo, Durbin Feltman, Luis Perales, and Jacob Wallace as well as position players like Cameron Cannon, Tyler Dearden, Ryan Fitzgerald, Niko Kavadas, Enderso Lira, and Stephen Scott, among others.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer and Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Triston Casas ranked by MLB Pipeline as No. 2 first-base prospect in baseball

For the second consecutive year, Triston Casas has been identified by MLB Pipeline as the No. 2 first-base prospect in baseball heading into the 2022 season.

Last year, Casas only trailed White Sox rookie Andrew Vaughn for the top spot. This time around, the Red Sox first baseman falls in line behind Tigers top prospect Spencer Torkelson for the No. 1 ranking.

In evaluating this position group, MLB.com’s William Boor writes that Casas has 60-grade arm strength (20-80 scouting scale) since he both pitched and played third base in high school. Boor also projects that Casas will make his major-league debut this year.

Casas, who turned 22 in January, enters the 2022 season ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 2 prospect in Boston’s farm system behind only fellow infielder Marcelo Mayer.

At this time last spring, Casas was preparing for his third full season in the Red Sox organization after being selected by the club in the first round (26th overall pick) in the 2018 amateur draft out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla.

Coming off a 2020 campaign that was altered drastically by the COVID-19 pandemic, Casas opened the 2021 season with Double-A Portland. While he had to step away from affiliated ball on two separate occasions to help Team USA qualify for and win a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics, the left-handed hitter still batted .284/.395/.484 (142 wRC+) with 12 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 52 RBIs, 57 runs scored, six stolen bases, 49 walks, and 63 strikeouts across 77 games (329 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs.

Shortly before the minor-league season came to a close, the Red Sox promoted Casas to Triple-A Worcester. In nine games with the WooSox, the Florida native slashed .242/.381/.485 (130 wRC+) to go along with three doubles, one triple, one homer, seven RBIs, six runs scored, one stolen base, eight walks, and eight strikeouts over nine games and 42 trips to the plate.

Most minor-leaguers knew their season was over by October. Casas, however, was not done, as he was one of eight Red Sox prospect who headed out west to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.

Appearing in 21 games with Scottsdale, Casas crushed just one home run but posted a .982 OPS (12th-highest in the league) en route to being named an AFL All-Star.

Following the conclusion of the brief AFL season, Casas was able to remain in touch with the Red Sox throughout the MLB lockout since he has yet to be added to the club’s 40-man roster. As such, the hulking 6-foot-4, 252 pounder participated in the Sox’ Winter Warm-Up program that preceded the start of minor-league spring training.

Had the lockout not ended last week, Casas would still be at minor-league camp in Fort Myers. He was instead one of 12 non-roster invitees added to the Red Sox’ spring training roster on Saturday and is likely to get into some Grapefruit League games as soon as this weekend.

With Casas being present at major-league camp for a second straight spring, Red Sox manager Alex Cora has the opportunity to get another extended look at the promising 22-year-old who may share some of the same habits as veteran slugger J.D. Martinez.

“Very structured in his routine. Very J.D.-like if you want to call it that,” Cora said of Casas this past Sunday. “So I think they’re going to be fighting for that cage time. But because he (Casas) is a rookie, he probably has to show up at five in the morning and get it. Because when J.D. gets here, it’s his cage.”

Regardless of how he performs this spring, Casas will likely return to Worcester for the start of the 2022 minor-league season. He could, however, be knocking on the door and eventually be making his big-league debut at some point this summer.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Red Sox infield prospect Cam Cannon off to strong start (.917 OPS, 158 wRC+) with High-A Greenville

For as much talk as there has been about what top Red Sox prospects Triston Casas and Nick Yorke have done since the start of the 2021 minor-league season, it’s easy to look past what another Sox infield prospect — Cam Cannon — is doing this month.

Like Casas and Yorke, Cannon was the first player the Red Sox selected in his respective draft. Unlike Casas and Yorke, though, Cannon was taken in the second round of the 2019 amateur draft, while Casas and Yorke were taken in the first rounds of the 2018 and 2020 amateur drafts.

The reason the Sox had to wait until the second round of the 2019 first-year player draft to make their first selection was due to the fact that they were penalized for exceeding the luxury tax threshold by more than $40 million the previous year.

Had they not incurred such a harsh penalty, Boston would have made their first pick in 2019 at No. 33 overall, but the luxury tax violation resulted in that pick falling 10 spots to No. 43 overall.

At that point, the Red Sox took Cannon, then a 21-year-old junior at the University of Arizona, off the board and ultimately signed him for $1.3 million that June.

After three games in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Cannon was called up to short-season Lowell, where he slashed .205/.289/.335 with three home runs, 21 RBI, 17 runs scored, 12 walks, and 37 strikeouts over 42 games to close out his first summer as a pro.

Like all 2019 draft picks, the Arizona native’s ongoing development was suddenly halted when the 2020 minor-league season was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With no minor-league season and no invitation to the Sox’ alternate training site, Cannon was limited to the fall instructional league last year, where he “garnered generally tepid reviews from scouts who saw him” there, according to FanGraphs‘ Eric Longenhagen.

Coming into 2021, Cannon — unlike Casas and Yorke — also did not receive an invite to major-league spring training, so he had to wait until minor-league camp began in April to get back into the swing of things.

Despite the long layoff, the 23-year-old was assigned to High-A Greenville at the beginning of May and has gotten his 2021 campaign off to a strong start.

Through 17 games with the Drive, Cannon — who has primarily been batting out of the leadoff spot — is hitting a solid .313/.365/.552 to go along with three home runs, seven doubles, eight RBI, 12 runs scored, two stolen bases, five walks, and 12 strikeouts over 74 plate appearances thus far.

Among the top qualified hitters in the High-A East, the right-handed hitter ranks first in doubles, first in extra-base hits (10), third in total hits (21), 11th in runs scored, ninth in batting average, 24th in on-base percentage, eighth in slugging percentage, 10th in OPS (.917), 14th in weighted on-base average (.405), and 14th in wRC+ (158), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Cannon was drafted as a shortstop. But questions about his arm strength have resulted in him making the shift over to the right side of the infield, as he has played 11 games at second base compared to just three at shortstop for Greenville so far this season.

In those 14 games between second base and shortstop, the 5-foot-10, 196 pound infielder has committed a total of two errors over 114 total defensive innings.

There also seems to be some speculation that he could see playing time in left field if he were to make the move to the outfield down the line.

Back in March, SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall wrote of Cannon: “Early returns from 2021 will tell a lot about where his development is going.”

Just under three weeks into the 2021 minor-league season, and early returns on Cannon’s performance in Greenville appear to indicate that the young infielder is trending in the right direction.

(Picture of Cam Cannon: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas has homered 3 times in his last 2 games for Double-A Portland

Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas followed up one of the best performances of his young career with another impressive showing for Double-A Portland on Thursday.

After crushing two home runs as part of a four-hit, six-RBI night at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Conn. on Wednesday, Casas belted a three-run homer — his third big fly in his last two games — while going 2-for-4 with three runs driven in.

Matched up against Rockies minor-league left-hander Nick Kennedy, the left-handed hitting first baseman came to the plate with runners at the corners in what at the time was a 3-2 game in favor of Portland.

On the fifth pitch he saw from Kennedy, Casas unloaded on a 93 mph fastball and deposited it to deep right-center field to clear the bases and put the Sea Dogs up 6-2.

He had previously singled in the first inning and also struck out twice to finish the night with two hits in four trips to the plate in what would go down as a narrow 6-5 victory for Portland.

What Casas has done these last two games against the Hartford Yard Goats is nothing short of a breakthrough considering the start he had gotten off to in his debut season in Double-A.

After making Portland’s Opening Day roster out of minor-league spring training earlier this month, the 21-year-old was slashing a measly .182/.280/.182 with no extra-base hits and just two RBI through his first six games of the year.

By going 6-for-10 with three home runs and nine RBI in his last two games, though, Casas has raised his batting average on the season 131 points to .313 and his OPS on the season 534 points all the way up to .996.

Casas was originally selected by Boston in the first round (26th overall pick) of the 2018 amateur draft out of American Heritage High School (Fla).

Even with no minor-league season last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Miami-area native was still able to impress Red Sox officials while at the club’s alternate training site in Pawtucket and even received an invitation to big-league camp earlier this spring.

“He’s a good hitter,” Red Sox manager Cora said of Casas before Thursday’s game against the Athletics. “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.”

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Casas is currently regarded by Baseball America as the top prospect in Boston’s farm system and the 37th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.

Because he is still so young and has only played a handful of games above Single-A, Casas is still likely a long ways away from making his major-league debut with the Red Sox. He even said that at this point in time, he is not yet major-league ready.

“I’m not putting any expectations on myself this year. I don’t have any specific numbers in mind,”  Casas told MiLB.com’s Michael Avallone on Wednesday. “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.”

(Picture of Triston Casas: Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)