BOSTON -- Triston Casas' first steps onto the field at Fenway Park as a member of the Boston Red Sox organization fell in stride behind J.D. Martinez, though he was far from being overshadowed by the slugger.Taken by the Red Sox with the 26th overall Draft selection earlier this month,
BOSTON -- Triston Casas' first steps onto the field at Fenway Park as a member of the Boston Red Sox organization fell in stride behind J.D. Martinez, though he was far from being overshadowed by the slugger.
Taken by the Red Sox with the 26th overall Draft selection earlier this month, the 18-year-old proved wise beyond his years by taking full advantage of his access to one of the Major League's best home run hitters this season.
"He's not a bad guy to pick a brain about hitting and stuff," Casas said of talking with Martinez. "I was just talking to him about little things, what he thinks about and stuff, and just the way he approaches the game. He's performing at the highest level right now and he's a pretty good player at this level, so I was just trying to pick anything that I could. Any doubts that I had, I was just asking him about it."
After settling the early nerves of hitting under a highly attentive crowd of onlookers, the 6-foot-4 left-handed hitter proved he too can provide some pop down the line for the big club, as he deposited two balls into the Red Sox bullpen in right and one off the wall in center field.
A product of American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla., Casas relished the experience and looks forward to more down the line.
"It's pretty amazing. The history here at this park and to imagine how many great players came through this dugout, and the other one, and stepped onto that field, is pretty amazing to think about," said Casas. "It was pretty fun. It's definitely [an experience] that I'll never forget. It makes me hungry to get back here."
Initially committed to play at the University of Miami, the third baseman opted to begin his professional career and signed with Boston on June 14.
Assigned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., he made his debut on Friday night as the team's designated hitter, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
With the ability to play home games at JetBlue Park, Casas has been afforded the opportunity to test his swing against similar dimensions to what he saw on Saturday in Boston.
"I like that it works with my swing," said Casas of Fenway. "My swing is one that's pretty uppercut towards left-center. Hopefully down in JetBlue, and eventually, hopefully here, I can work that wall pretty well. ... I like the way it fits my swing.
"It's truly amazing. ... I see myself growing well here and prospering as a baseball player and as a person."
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.