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March 14, 2023 at 8:00 AM

2023 Countdown to Spring Training: Miguel Bleis and Triston Casas

We've made it through the bulk of the offseason and spring training is here! To celebrate the return of baseball, we'll be counting down by posting our scouting reports for the players on our Top 60 from February 13 until March 15—not coincidentally, the same day the SoxProspects brass arrive in Fort Myers for the start of games in minor league camp. 

2022 Teams: FCL
Final Stats: 167 PA, .301/.353/.542, 14 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 6 BB%, 26.9 K%
2023 Projected Level: Salem

Scouting Report 
Physical Description: Tall, athletic frame with lots of remaining projection. Looks the part, has the room to add strength without impacting his athleticism.

Hit: Starts slightly open with his hands high. Some pre-pitch hand movement, but consistently ends up in a good hitting position. Utilizes a toe-tap timing device. Good separation in his swing. Quick hands, plus bat speed. Fluid swing. Makes a lot of contact on pitches in the zone and has had no problems with velocity early in his career. Will work counts and has some feel for the strike zone, but still in the early stages of developing his approach. Does expand the zone against quality offspeed pitches, but has shown a willingness to take a walk. When he gets ahead in the count, is aggressive, hunting fastballs he can hit. Ball makes a different sound when he squares it up. Will go to all fields and hits the ball extremely hard for someone his age and is already producing major league-quality exit velocities as a teenager. Still has a ways to go in developing his approach, but shows the raw tools to develop an above-average hit tool.

Power: Will show plus raw power in batting practice. As he physically matures, could add even more raw power. Has already shown the ability to impact the baseball in games as well. Hits the ball extremely hard and can drive the ball with backspin. Shows the makings of all-fields power. Batting practice is very impressive when he lets it go. Potential for plus game power at his peak.

Run: Plus speed. Plays faster than he grades out due to his athleticism and agility. When he moves it is effortless. Covers ground extremely quickly.

Field: Shows good instincts and reads in center field. Plus range. Takes long strides and glides to the ball. Projects to stick in center field, where he could be a plus defender.

Arm: Above-average arm strength. Plenty of arm for center field.

Career Notes: Received the largest bonus in the Red Sox January 2021 international free agent class. Missed the first two weeks of the 2021 season for undisclosed reasons. Participated in the 2021 Fall Performance Program. Entered 2023 as a consensus top 100 prospect.

Summation: Potential everyday player who adds significant value in all facets of the game. High-risk prospect with a wide variance of outcomes. Checks all the boxes you look for in a prospect his age. If he reaches his potential, all five tools could grade at least as average. Raw power is his best current tool, but has the potential to hit for average as well. Has the highest upside of any Latin American prospect in the system. Scouts praised him as the best position player they saw in the FCL during the 2022 season.

2022 Teams: Worcester and Boston
Final Stats: 429 PA, .263/.382/.480, 24 2B, 17 HR, 15.9 BB%, 21.8 K%
2023 Projected Level: Boston

Scouting Report 
Physical Description: Strong, imposing frame. Thick, fully developed lower half. Will have to work to maintain body and athleticism, but has a strong work ethic and long-term concerns on that issue are minimal. Very long limbs. Has done a good job with conditioning early in his career. Arrived at 2020 Alternate Training Site with a more toned physique.

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. Utilizes all fields. Will always have some swing-and-miss in his game, but for someone of his size, he has it well under control. Will take a walk and shows a keen eye at the plate. Has shown a willingness to try adjustments to his swing and to move on if they are not working. Has used a two-strike approach in which he widens his stance and chokes up on the bat, but he has largely abandoned that as he has moved up the ladder. Potential to develop an above-average hit tool.

Power: Plus-plus raw power. Easy all-fields power. Power plays best to the pull side, but has shown the ability to wait back and drive the ball the other way as well. Has the ideal combination of size, strength, and bat speed for a power hitter. Ball really jumps off his bat. Drives the ball with backspin. Was among the Triple-A leaders in hard-hit percentage in 2022. Potential for at least plus in-game power at his peak.

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. Soft hands and surprisingly fluid actions. Moves well enough for first base. Potential solid-average defender there. Drafted as a third baseman, but footwork was choppy, he 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. Would have been plenty of arm for third base had he stuck there.

Career Notes: Was an old prospect for his draft class, but reclassified in 2017 and graduated high school early to 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, as well as Eric Hosmer. 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 at the plate but struggled (.208/.284/.364, 35% K rate). Returned to a more natural swing, saving crouch for two strikes, and improved drastically, posting great numbers for his age even despite a July slump (.267/.364/.506, 21% K rate). Entered 2020 season as a top 100 prospect. Was a late addition to the Alternate Training Site in 2020, where he impressed as one of the best hitters in Pawtucket despite being one of the youngest and least experienced players there. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018, 2019, and 2020, but did not play in games in 2020. Entered 2021 as a consensus top 50 prospect. Received a non-roster invitation to MLB spring training in 2021. Played for Team USA in the 2021 Americas Olympic Qualifier and at the 2021 Olympics, where he hit three home runs and was named to the All-Olympic Team as the U.S. won the silver medal. Participated in 2022 Winter Warm-Up. Entered 2022 as a consensus top 50 prospect, ranked as high as 19th by Baseball America. Received a non-roster invitation to MLB spring training in 2022. Missed two months with a high ankle sprain between May and July 2022. Entered 2023 as a consensus top 25 prospect.

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. Projects to add some value defensively at first base as well. Hit tool still needs development. Will have to ensure the swing-and-miss in his game does not impact his ability to tap into his power. Strong instincts and feel for the game. Great work ethic and strong clubhouse presence. Student of the game, really looks to hone his craft.

Photo Credit: Miguel Bleis and Triston Casas by Kelly O'Connor.

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