Tomase: Top prospect Casas takes another step up Sox ladder

Red Sox prospect Triston Casas playing with the Greenville Drive in 2019
Red Sox prospect Triston Casas playing with the Greenville Drive in 2019.
USA TODAY Sports photo

The Red Sox on Thursday added top prospect Triston Casas to their player pool, but don't look for him in Fenway Park anytime soon.

According to multiple sources, Casas is being added purely for developmental purposes, which makes sense, since he has yet to appear above Single A.

In the absence of a minor-league season, the Red Sox want Casas to get a look against older, more experienced minor-league competition at the team's alternate training site in Pawtucket. The 20-year-old was Boston's top pick in the 2018 draft out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., and he has already impressed as a future big leaguer.

Casas hit 20 home runs between Low and High A in what was effectively his debut last season, batting .256 with an .830 OPS. Still listed at his draft size of 6-4, 238, Casas revealed over the winter that he has already grown to 6-5, 255. With a sweet left-handed stroke, natural power, and a desire to model his game after Reds All-Star Joey Votto, he could be the long-term answer at first base once he gains experience.

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The trade publications are bullish, with Baseball America naming Casas the team's top prospect (and No. 75 overall), while lists him second on the Red Sox list to infielder Jeter Downs and No. 83 overall.

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"I'm more on the side of ignoring all of it," Casas said of the plaudits in January. "I try to live with the satisfaction that I'm happy with myself, and the numbers I'm putting up are a product of the work I'm putting in. I feel like there are a lot of improvements that need to be done, because I don't feel like I had my best season."