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2018 MLB Draft: Triston Casas, 1B/3B, American Heritage High School

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Powerful high school first baseman aims for spot in MLB draft

As 2017 came to an end Triston Casas was still considered a Junior in high school, but a very good showing with the USA U18 team helped the home-schooled Casas decide to reclassify and take a heavy academic workload to become eligible for the 2018 draft. He is big for a high schooler (reclassified or not) at 6’4” and about 240 lbs., which makes him look like the prototype power hitter he is.

The high school baseball team he plays for, American Heritage in Florida, has him playing third base where he doesn’t look terrible, but it isn’t his future. He is going to be a first baseman long term where he can become a solid defender at the position. He has some fluid motions at third and can attack a bunt well, but the range, first step, and very slow foot speed are what will ultimately move him across the diamond.

Casas will never win a batting title, heck he might not ever hit .275. He has a rather long leg kick that will open him up to poor timing as he faces consistently better pitching. He has been known to be a streaky hitter, going stretches where he hits everything hard followed by a stretch where contact comes infrequently.

Despite the leg kick and inconsistent contact his bat plane creates natural lift and he may be the strongest high schooler in this year’s draft. He will be a first round pick, which should be enough to convince him to sign rather than go to the University of Miami where he is currently committed. He has also been open about his desire to become a professional baseball player, so signability is not really much of a concern for him.

Overall I would not be shocked to see a team allow him to play third his first year and move him permanently to first this offseason. He will be a guy that is going to be a .250 hitter with more than 150 Ks a year, but he can also be a guy that puts up 30-35 home runs a year in the middle of a big league order.

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