It’s no secret that the Boston Red Sox farm system is badly depleted thanks to the deals that were made to acquire Chris Sale and others, and yesterday they took small steps towards restoring those lower levels by drafting Triston Casas with the 26th pick and Nick Decker with the 64th pick in the MLB Draft. Let’s learn a little more about the two newest members of the organization.
Casas is an 18-year old (let’s all take a minute to let his birth year of 2000 to sink in) 1st baseman from American Heritage High School in Florida, although the Red Sox decided to announce him as a 3rd baseman. Being that he pitched in high school as well, he has the arm to make the long thrown from 3rd to 1st, but he definitely needs to work on his agility to truly hold down the hot corner. Ultimately he’ll likely make the move across the diamond and become a full time 1B. His defense, though, is not what he was drafted for.
Casas has been said to be arguably the best pure power hitter available in this year’s draft, and he ranked in the 99.4th percentile in exit velocity among high school players this year. It’s the tool that he’s likely to lean on while working his way up through the system. His uppercut swing has led to some holes in his game, but he also possesses “elite level” plate discipline and patience at the dish, so his high ceiling seems to be a lower BA, high OPS type guy.
(Photo credit: Courier Post Online)
18-year old Nick Decker has a very similar profile to Casas, although he’s not quite as highly regarded as the Floridian. He also has elite raw power, but it shows in his long and looping swing. That sort of swing can be exploited by talented, pro-level pitchers, and it will need to be tweaked to address that without taking too much away from his pure strength. One thing he has going for him is the fact that he “seems to have a plan every at-bat,” which can be a wildly absent aspect of amateur and lower level professional baseball.
Defensively, Decker is listed as an outfielder, and given his lack of range and athleticism he seems destined for a corner spot, likely LF if he stays with Boston given the range required to hold down RF in Fenway. Overall, he’s a solid 2nd round pick who was ranked anywhere from 51st by Fangraphs and 110th by Baseball America in terms of prospects in this year’s draft.