As Triston Casas wrapped up his media session on Friday, the moderator of the press conference needed to make sure to clarify something. The Red Sox prospect is listed at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, and he was offered the chance to set the record straight.
Casas obliged to correct those numbers.
“I’ve grown,” Casas said. “I’m about 6-5, 250 right now. That was my size, like, senior year of high school, so I’ve grown about an inch and a couple of pounds.”
As he grows physically, the hype around the 20-year-old Casas continues to build, too.
While the Red Sox continue to plummet in the standings of a lost 2020 season, all eyes are rightfully focused on the future, where Casas figures to be a big part of that, both figuratively and literally. The No. 1-ranked Red Sox prospect by Baseball America, Casas is probably still years away from the majors, but he’s continuing to get better this summer, facing the best competition he’s ever played at the team’s alternate training site in Pawtucket.
He’s glad he is. When the Red Sox released their initial player pool before summer camp, Casas wasn’t on it. But he stayed ready, and when he got the call in mid-August to report to Pawtucket, he was excited.
“I haven’t got the call to the big leagues but I feel like it’s the closest thing to it. I was really excited to get up here,” Casas said. “I knew the level of talent was not anything like I’ve faced before. I was really excited to test what I had against the best guys in our organization besides the guys in the big leagues. I’ve definitely come up here and tried to take full advantage of the opportunity, take every at-bat with purpose and go out there and compete. ...
“I’m really happy to have gotten a call up here. I knew I was going to be challenged. I’m happy with the at-bats I’m putting together and the way that everything’s turned out.”
Casas, who doesn’t have any experience above High-A Salem, said he didn’t have any expectations for results after limited at-bats during spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., but he’s impressed during simulated games against pitchers with Triple-A and, in some cases, big-league experience. The power-hitting first/third baseman has hit some mammoth homers at McCoy Stadium, including a 414-foot shot last week.
One of them has even reminded him of one of his favorite players growing up, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who he modeled his game after. “Growing up, I loved watching Joey Votto,” Casas said. “I love his approach. I love his swing. I love the way he approaches the game and the way he takes his at-bats are second to none. The stats speak for themselves. He’s one of the best hitters of the 2010s, and that’s when I was growing up watching baseball, and being a left-handed first baseman, Joey Votto’s not a bad guy to emulate.
“I don’t really try to copy everything he does, but the other day I hit a home run in the sim game, and looking back on it, I was like, ‘Wow, I actually do look like Joey Votto.’”
If Casas turns out to be anything like Votto, the Red Sox will certainly be happy with their 2018 first-round pick. But he knows he has a long way to get to that level.
Right now, Casas is trying to keep things simple and using his environment to his advantage. In addition to learning from facing high-quality pitching and making adjustments with his approach at the plate, he’s using his time to talk to other guys in Pawtucket with big-league experience, specifically catcher Jonathan Lucroy and infielder Christian Arroyo. Both have relayed a common message.
“The one thing I basically got out of all of it is not to worry about the result and just to focus on going out there and hitting the ball hard,” Casas said. “That’s basically what I’ve tried to do all this time that I’ve been here and I like that approach.”