BOSTON - Red Sox first-round draft pick Triston Casas is expected to sign for his full slot value, $2,552,800, pending a physical, a source with knowledge of the agreement said. He's heading to Boston this week to take his physical.
The first and third baseman from American Heritage High School in Florida was the 26th overall draft pick last week and is known for his tremendous power. He committed to the University of Miami prior to the draft.
Casas visited Boston recently for a pre-draft workout.
"It was a great experience going to Boston," Casas said. "It was my first time in Boston and in Massachusetts, so I really enjoyed my time there, I really loved the city and I love the build of it and I love the way that Fenway fit right in the middle of it, just like another building. I'm really excited and I can't be more happy with the way [the draft] turned out. I feel like the park suits my swing well, and hopefully, I get up to the big-league club soon and make an impact.”
The Sox have followed Casas for years.
"He was a three-time member of the Team USA junior national team, which we scout extensively during the summer," said Mike Rikard, who oversees the Sox' draft. "So we've seen a lot of him through the last few years. He also plays at a real prolific high school in the Fort Lauderdale area, American Heritage, that's one of the better programs in the country. We've seen a lot of him for a while now.
"One of his biggest strengths is his power. Typically in those workout settings, it's more about a last opportunity to spend time with these kids and get to know them on a little bit more of an intimate level. We typically do some batting practice, and he shows very well in that area, because his power is really good."
Steven Wright has made it an easy decision for Alex Cora when the injured Drew Pomeranz returns from the disabled list.
When Pomeranz went down with biceps tendinitis on June 5, Wright immediately stepped up in his spot throwing seven shutout innings vs the Tigers. That proved to be no fluke, as the knuckleballer followed up with another scoreless outing in 6.2 innings pitched vs the Orioles.
Then on Saturday in Seattle, Wright put the exclamation point on his case to take over for Pomeranz in the rotation for the foreseeable future. The right-hander's scoreless streak reached 24.2 innings before the Mariners were able to scratch across a run in the third. That would be the only run scored against Wright in the game, as the 2016 All-Star again threw seven strong innings.
In eight starts this season, Pomeranz hasn't made it to the seven-inning mark. In 2017, he did so only once in 32 starts. The left-hander's inability to go deep in games has made him the odd man out in the rotation at least until another starter goes down, or Wright begins to show signs of inconsistency.
Besides, Pomeranz has had success as a reliever in the past. He thrived in the role in 2014 and 2015 with Oakland. It makes more sense to have him as an added lefty in the bullpen, rather than use a knuckleball pitcher in relief.
Wright shouldn't be expected to keep up this kind of pace. But he has once again earned himself a starting role, for as long as he can provide some much-needed stability at the back end of the rotation.
With a number of top-round Red Sox draft picks beginning to ink deals, including first-round pick Triston Casas of American Heritage High (Fla.), a friendly reminder that Boston's farm could use some serious infusion of life.
The top-ranked prospects in the Red Sox' minor league system are. . . how do we say this politely? Underperforming . . .
(Stats as of late last week.)