SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Triston Casas already has experience in the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox, but the 23-year-old will retain his rookie eligibility for the upcoming season.
The young first baseman appeared in 27 games for the Red Sox in the final month of the 2022 season, getting his feet wet to take over duties at the corner infield spot on a full-time basis in 2023.
That makes him a prime contender for the Rookie of the Year award, especially after Casas showed strong plate discipline and some pop in his bat with five home runs. But Casas isn’t setting out with that as a goal in mind. He has something else he wishes to accomplish.
“My personal goal this year is to play 150-plus games,” Casas said this past Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “I think if I do that, I’ll win plenty of awards.”
Since the Red Sox drafted Casas in the first round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft, the most games he has played in the minors in one season is 120. A sprained ankle kept Casas out longer than expected last year and limited him to 72 games with Triple-A Worcester before getting the call up to the Red Sox.
In trying to reach his goal, Casas has prioritized getting in better shape this offseason. He said he didn’t like where he finished weight-wise at the end of last season and made a concerted effort to trim down any extra pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame.
“I like where I’m at in my strength and conditioning program in all the years,” Casas said. “I think the thing I’m trying to change this year is the longevity of the season. I think the longest I’ve ever played was 120 games. Thinking more 150-160. That extra month and a little bit definitely can take a toll on your body, so I think a little less weight will do me good in the long run.”