The Red Sox added some major thump to their player pool on Thursday, when they announced that first baseman/third baseman Triston Casas will be reporting to the alternate training site in Pawtucket, R.I.
Casas, Boston's first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, is the club's No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. With the addition of Casas, the Red Sox's player pool is now at the maximum of 60.
It would be surprising if Casas joins the Major League roster this season, especially when a more advanced slugging prospect in Bobby Dalbec is another depth option on the player pool.
The timing of the move was interesting, given that the season is more than one-third over.
"There are so many things to factor in to how we manage our 60-man pool -- balancing the needs of the organization with what's best for each individual player, all while allowing for injuries, roster moves, trades and so much else," said Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. "Triston has a chance to be a special player and we are happy that he should get more than half the season with his teammates and our staff in Pawtucket."
But Casas should gain some valuable experience these next several weeks in daily intrasquad games, especially since there's no Minor League season this year.
"What we've found so far is that even though [simulated] games are not real games, there's still a lot of quality work we can do," said Bloom. "Our hitters see a ton of live pitching and the fact that we can really control the environment allows us to work in a much more targeted way. There are even some benefits of that kind of work that we don't get in real games."
The Red Sox drafted the big slugger and South Florida native out of high school two years ago.
In 122 Minor League games, the left-handed-hitting Casas has 20 homers, 81 RBIs and an .824 OPS. The 20-year-old Casas is an intimidating presence for opposing pitchers, standing in at 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds.
"Obviously I didn't get to see Triston's 2019 as closely as our folks who were here," said Bloom. "But from a distance, it was really encouraging to see him make adjustments as the year went on -- that's a great, great sign for a high school hitter in his first full season. Of course, he hasn't seen the high Minors yet and there is plenty of development left, but he's off to a very exciting start."