Dave Dombrowski is a legendary GM. He is the only MLB executive to win the pennant with three different franchises. He has built two World Series champions, 21 years apart. Most recently Dombrowski won a championship with the Red Sox in 2018. After that season though, he had a falling out with ownership and was let go. His replacement would be Chaim Bloom, the Baseball Prospectus intern turned MLB executive. Bloom’s tenure so far has angered many Sox fans, to say the least. Since he took over following the 2018 World Series win, the Sox have yet to make the playoffs.
Dombrowski did leave a little parting gift to the Red Sox organization, however. He nabbed a big high school kid from Florida by the name of Triston Casas in the first round of his final draft with the franchise. A few years later, with a completely rebuilt farm system under Bloom, Casas remains the Red Sox top prospect; a final relic of the glorious Dombrowski era in Boston, and one that should be a pillar of the organization for many years to come.
Let’s talk about him.
How Does He Play?
Casas was the 26th overall pick in the 2018 June Amateur Draft. He comes from American Heritage HS in Florida and signed for a $2.6 million bonus upon being drafted by the Sox.
Now about his playstyle. Simply put, Triston Casas is a masher. He is a hitter first and foremost. He is a 6’4″ 252 lb first baseman/designated hitter. It is a very common archetype for a young ballplayer today but according to FanGraphs lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen, what sets Casas apart is that he has a plus hit tool to complement his elite raw power.
Nearly all of Casas’ draft clout came from his bat, and this remains true as a minor league prospect. Even in his high school days, it’s easy to see why Casas is so highly regarded. His swing is violent and active, yet sweet and natural. This package is extremely sought after and it’s why Casas is the Red Sox’s top prospect.
Check out this video of some swings from when Casas was still a high schooler:
Big League Comps
Sometimes it can be difficult to find an apt big-league comparison for a prospect. For example, I struggled with this while analyzing Jarren Duran. For Casas, a couple of obvious ones stand out, especially when thinking about his projected position of first base. Casas is nearly a dead ringer for Joey Votto and Anthony Rizzo in the batter’s box. It seems like Casas could be as good a hitter as either of those, which is not something I’d just throw around.
Casas has experimented with different approaches and ways of choking up on the bat. Whatever he tries seems to work, as, in limited pro ball experience, Casas has been remarkable. Take this with a grain of salt, however, as Casas has yet to play above Double-A. There is a great hitter in there but he needs a lot more pro experience before I can believe that he’s the next Votto or Rizzo.
Despite the inexperience, that same sweet but violent swing from high school remains. Just check out this RBI knock in big-league Spring Training last year.
When Do We See This Guy?
Unfortunately, it’s gonna be a long time until Triston Casas is called up to the Red Sox. He’s still only 21, so there is plenty of developing left to do, even though from the looks of things, he is good to go. As much of a bummer as that may be, there is so much to be excited about for this kid.
For one, as far as his hitting approach goes, there are no holes in his game. He is a pure hitter, which for those who may not be aware, is about the greatest compliment a prospect can receive. His being so far away only gives Sox fans more to look forward to.
In a couple of years, when Triston Casas comes up and mashes for the Sox, be sure to thank Dave Dombrowski for his final gift to Sox Nation.
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