New Sox first baseman Hosmer and top prospect Casas go way back

·3 min read

Aug. 11—Even before the trade that brought him to Boston from San Diego, Eric Hosmer knew there were a few Red Sox players he'd enjoy playing with if the opportunity ever arose.

The newly acquired Red Sox first baseman pointed to a few of the obvious, calling Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers special while adding that he's always respected J.D. Martinez's approach to the game. But then he offered another, more interesting name, which stood out because he hasn't yet made his MLB debut.

Top Red Sox prospect Triston Casas.

"Triston is someone I eventually look forward to being in the same clubhouse," Hosmer said, "and watching how he takes on the league and how he's going to take the league by storm."

Hosmer has known of Casas' potential for a long time. The two both attended American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida and were first-round picks exactly a decade apart. The two first met roughly a decade ago — Hosmer thinks Casas was around 12 or 13 at the time — and have remained in touch ever since.

"I know him well, he's hit with my brother a couple of times, I've gotten to hit with him a couple of times," Hosmer said. "We've taken similar paths, both from down in that same area, went to the same school and all that, I've always followed him throughout his career in the minor leagues even with USA Baseball last year in the Olympics and stuff. I'm a huge Triston fan, I think he's going to be a really good hitter in this game and I think a lot of people in Boston should be excited for him."

Beyond being former first-round picks from the same high school, Hosmer and Casas have a lot of similarities as players too. They are both 6-foot-4 first basemen who bat left-handed, can get on base and boast similarly impressive power.

Given that Casas is widely considered the club's first baseman of the future, Hosmer would have reason to feel threatened by his potential ascension. yet instead Hosmer said getting to play with Casas "would mean a lot" and he'd do whatever he can to help the young player succeed once he reaches the big leagues.

He may not need to wait long.

After missing two months with a sprained ankle and shaking off some initial rust upon his activation, Casas has been tearing it up since returning to the Worcester Red Sox lineup in late July. He's batted .316 with a 1.041 OPS over his past 10 games, including a stretch where he recorded five doubles over four games, and generally looks as good, if not better, than he did prior to the injury back in the spring.

A Casas promotion would be a welcome piece of good news in what is becoming an increasing bleak season, and once he does finally arrive he'll have a familiar face waiting to help make his transition to the big leagues as smooth as possible.

"I'd look forward to helping him out any way I can," Hosmer said. "I think he's going to be a really special player so for him to begin his career, especially in a place like Boston, I think it will be fun to be a part of, to mentor and help him out and just be here for whatever he needs."

Email: mcerullo@northofboston.com. Twitter: @MacCerullo.