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July 29, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Triston Casas, Brayan Bello and more

The latest SoxProspects scouting report update sheds light on members of last year's Greenville Drive and Salem Red Sox, including number one prospect Triston Casas and number twenty-two prospect Brayan Bello. Other reports updated today include Eduard Bazardo, who made a solid impression in major league spring training this year, and 2017 second-round pick Cole Brannen.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting report team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Triston Casas, First Baseman

Physical Description: Strong, imposing frame. Thick, fully developed lower half. Some remaining projection in his upper body, but strong already. Will have to work to maintain body and athleticism. Very long limbs.

Hit: Starts slightly open in a slight crouch. Quiet pre-pitch. Utilizes a leg lift timing device and gets his foot down in time. Easy load, hips really fire through. Plus bat speed; whips the bat through the zone. Smooth, fluid swing, especially given his size. Strong feel for hit for a high school draftee. Utilizes all fields. Will always have some swing-and-miss and holes in his swing. Has shown willingness to try adjustments to swing and to abandon them if they are not working. Will widen his stance and choke up on the bat with two strikes. Potential to develop strong plate discipline skills in the future. Needs to continue to refine approach and pitch recognition, but has the potential to develop an above-average hit tool.

Power: Plus-plus raw power. Easy all-fields power, but power plays best to the pull side. Has the ideal combination of size, strength, and bat speed for a power hitter. Ball jumps off his bat. Drives the ball with backspin. How power actualizes will depend on hit tool development, but can project for at least plus game power at his peak and potentially more.

Run: Well below-average speed. Not a part of his game. Will likely continue to get slower as he matures. Smart baserunner, reads the game well.

Field: Confident picking out throws in the dirt. Moves well enough for first base. Potential above-average defender there. Drafted as a third baseman and had plenty of arm for the position, but footwork was choppy, lacked range, and looked awkward fielding the ball there given his size.

Arm: Plus arm. Touched the low 90s on the mound in high school.

Career Notes: Originally an old prospect for his draft class, reclassified in 2017 and graduated high school early so that he could enter the draft a year earlier. Reportedly put up some of the highest exit velocities in the 2018 high school class. Excelled in showcase events and led Team USA in home runs and RBI on the way to winning the MVP of the U-18 Baseball World Cup. Attended the same high school as Red Sox draft picks CJ Chatham, Shaun Anderson, and Deven Marrero. Had committed to the University of Miami. Tore the UCL in his right thumb diving for a ground ball in his second game after signing, and missed the rest of the 2018 regular season after surgery. For first month of 2019, tried to use a pronounced crouch in his pre-pitch setup and swing, but struggled (.208/.284/.364, 35% K rate). Returned to a more natural swing and improved drastically, posting great numbers for his age even despite a July slump (.267/.364/.506, 21% K rate). Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018 and 2019.

Summation: Potential everyday regular. Ceiling of an all-star capable of hitting for both average and significant power. Looks the part of a prototypical bat-first first baseman capable of anchoring a lineup. Also, projects to add some value defensively at first base. Hit tool still needs development and will have to ensure the swing-and-miss in his game doesn’t impact his ability to tap into his power. Strong instincts and feel for the game.


Brayan Bello, Right-handed Pitcher

Physical Description: Athletic right-hander with remaining projection. On the skinny side at present.

Mechanics: Loose, quick arm. Throws from a mid-three-quarters arm slot and lands soft and closed on his front side. Could do a better job incorporating his lower half in his delivery. Gets good extension.

Fastball: 93-95 mph. Tops out at 98 mph. Below-average command at present. Tends to crossfire fastball. Average spin rate on fastball. Pitch shows tail down in the zone and some ride when up in the zone. Velocity has already increased from 91-93 mph during the Fall Instructional League in 2018. Will mix in a two-seam fastball on occasion at 92-94 mph. Potential plus offering.

Slider: 84-86 mph. Primary secondary pitch. Will show sharp break and tilt on occasion. Advanced feel for pitch. Pitch has a slightly above average spin rate compared to the MLB average for a right-hander. Will throw often and in any count. Potential above-average pitch.

Changeup: 86-88 mph. Work in progress, but is already showing considerable improvement. Showing some feel for pitch now. At it’s best shows late fade. Was able to generate a lot of swing and misses with the pitch from both right and left-handed hitters during the 2019 season in Greenville. On occasion, will slow his arm and pitch ends up on the firm side. Potential average offering.

Career Notes: Didn’t sign until age 18. Was fairly dominant during debut season with the DSL, but was older for the level, and was jumped all the way to Greenville the following year. Struggled in the first half in 2019, but got stronger as the season went on despite nearly doubling his inning total from the previous season. Participated in the 2018 Fall Instructional League. 

Summation: Has the early makings of a three-pitch mix that makes him a potential number four or five starter. Very young with a lot of development remaining and a wide variation of potential outcomes. Fastball/slider combination could profile in a bullpen role if changeup and command don't develop. Not the most imposing physically, but still has projection and has the type of athleticism you look for.


Pedro Castellanos, First Baseman

Physical Description: Looks taller than listed height. Has grown significantly since signing. Strong, large frame. Somewhat stiff and will have to watch body as he gets older. Mature frame with no remaining projection.
Hit: Starts open with his hands high. Starts on front toe and never leaves ground, utilizing toe tap. Short stride, lot of upper body in swing. Long, rotational swing. Has a hole on the inner half; likes to get arms extended. Pitch recognition a work in progress. Lot of swing-and-miss in his game even if his strikeout numbers don’t reflect that. Struggles with identifying secondary offerings. Fringy bat speed. Below-average plate discipline. Potential fringe-average hit tool.
Power: Plus raw power but historically has had curiously well below-average in-game power. Power comes mostly from strength. Will put on a show in BP, but power has so far failed to translate in-game action. In-game swing fails to generate loft; hits far too many balls on the ground. Needs to incorporate lower half into swing to tap into power in-game, especially against more advanced pitching. May have turned a corner in late 2019, hitting eight home runs in his final 30 games after hitting seven in his previous 291 games.
Run: Below-average runner. Smart on the bases; will score from first on a double despite lack of speed. Takes very large leads. 
Field: Stiff. Minimal range. First base-only profile. Uses height to his advantage, getting good extension when stretching for throws. Shows good hands picking throws from the dirt. Has played some left field but does not project well there. Potential average defender.
Arm: Average arm.
Career Notes:  Excelled against DSL competition in 2016, when he was much more physically mature than most of the rest of the league. Missed time with a back injury in 2018. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2016, 2018, and 2019.
Summation: Potential bat-first organizational player. Bat will be tested as he progresses through the system as he has yet to show the bat speed or approach to succeed against more advanced pitching. Development will depend largely on fixing his issue of failing to tap into his raw power at all. First base-only defensive profile, so will have to hit both for average and power. High-risk prospect with low floor due to potential for swing and miss. 


Cole Brannen, Center Fielder

Physical Description: Very lean, athletic frame. Looks smaller than listed height and weight. Minimal remaining projection. Doesn’t have the frame to sustain significant weight gain.

Hit: Starts open with a toe tap timing device. Has already tinkered with swing mechanics; used to start square with little incorporation of his lower half. Has also tried starting open with a leg kick of varying heights as well. Shows a willingness to take a walk, but can be overly passive at times and work himself into bad counts. Lacks bat speed. Struggles with velocity, lot of swing and miss at present. Hasn’t shown the ability to hit the ball in the air with regularity.

Power: No power potential. Not a part of his game. Doesn’t hit the ball in the air enough and lacks strength to hit the ball over the fence. Has yet to show even consistent gap power in pro ball.

Run: Plus speed. Baserunning instincts are still a work in progress.

Field: Potential above-average defender. Gets good reads in the outfield and has a quick first step. Uses speed to close down on balls in the gap.

Arm: Fringe-average arm strength.

Career Notes: Was a highly regarded prospect coming into the 2017 draft after excelling on the showcase circuit. Underwent surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right hand prior to senior season of high school. Had been committed to Georgia Southern. Assigned to Greenville to start the 2018 season, but was sent back to extended Spring Training after extreme struggles at the plate, posting a ground ball percentage near 70 percent and a sub-.500 OPS. Has improved groundball rate somewhat, but has continued to struggle at the plate. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018.

Summation: Lacks a carrying tool to project as anything better than a low minors depth outfielder. Needs to make significant progress to re-establish prospect status. Doesn’t project to hit enough to allow speed and defensive ability to carry him. Will struggle against more advanced pitching. Needs to add strength and settle on comfortable mechanics at the plate. Doesn’t profile to hit for any power, so needs to focus on a contact-oriented swing and using all fields. 


Eduardo Bazardo, Right-Handed Pitcher

Physical Description: Small, undersized frame. Minimal projection even though he is on the thin side. Could stand to add upper body strength.
Mechanics: Throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the third base side of the rubber with hands at his waist. Jerky, effortful delivery. High leg kick and slight trunk twist. Slight stab behind before whipping his arm forward. Loose, quick arm. Head whack. Some deception as he keeps his arm hidden behind his body. Average extension. Repeats delivery.
Fastball: 91-93 mph. Tops out at 95 mph. Pitch shows sink and cut on occasion when he drops his arm slot. Does a good job keeping the ball down and generates a lot of weak contact. Velocity tended to fall off in later innings as a starter, but isn’t an issue out of the bullpen. Fringe-average command. Has shown the ability at times to command the pitch arm-side, but glove-side command is more inconsistent. Potential average pitch.
Curveball: 79-83 mph. Advanced feel. 11-to-5 break. Elite spin rate, among highest of players in the system. Pitch has tight rotation and depth when he snaps it off. Has feel and confidence in offering. Willing to throw in any count to hitters from both sides of the plate. MLB-quality out pitch. Potential plus pitch.
Split-Finger Fastball: 87-88 mph. On the firm side and lacks separation from fastball. Will show drop on occasion. Clear third pitch that is still in development. Replaced changeup in repertoire. Potential fringe-average pitch.
Career Notes: Older international signee at 18 years old, then spent three years in the complex leagues before breaking out as a starter in 2018 in Lowell. Participated in 2018 Fall Instructional League. Was a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster after the 2019 season, but was not added and was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft.
Summation: Projects as an up-and-down reliever. Ceiling of a solid middle reliever. Jerky, deceptive delivery and fastball/curveball combination could play in the majors. Needs to improve fastball command and control and improve consistency with his breaking ball in order to reach his ceiling.


Grant Williams, Infielder

Physical Description: Undersized, average frame. Lacks physical projection.

Hit: Starts open and utilizes a leg kick. Short, compact swing. Contact oriented approach. Rarely strikes out, will take a walk. Has some feel at the plate, doesn’t try to do too much. Understands the strike zone and has shown some ability to recognize spin. Potential fringe-average hit tool.

Power: Well below-average raw power. No game power. Gap power at best, but doesn’t project every to have over the fence power as a part of his game.

Arm: Fringe-average arm strength.

Field: Potential average defender. Able to profile well at second, third, and short. Soft hands, strong instincts.

Run: Below-average speed. Strong instincts, but not a major stolen base threat.

Career Notes: Senior sign. Also pitched in high school.
Summation: Potential minor league infield depth type. Lacks any major league-quality carrying tool. Doesn’t have a high ceiling, but useful player to have in the system. Has played primarily second and shortstop through his first two years, and held his own hitting at the bottom of the lineup. Handles himself professionally, type of player every team needs to fill out their rosters in the minor leagues. 

Photo Credit: Triston Casas, Brayan Bello and Cole Brannen by Kelly O'Connor

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.