Red Sox prospect Triston Casas, sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain May 17, returned to games Tuesday when he started a rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League.
The 22-year-old first baseman — generally considered a top-three Sox prospect — was hitting .248/.359/.457 with six home runs and 15 extra-base hits in 36 games with Triple A Worcester prior to his injury.
After showing an approach focused chiefly on making contact and getting on base through his first two professional seasons in 2019 and 2021, the 2018 first-round pick took an approach that was more geared for power this year, using his size (6 feet 5 inches, 260 pounds) to drive the ball with the greatest consistency of his career.
Multiple industry sources said Casas had a significant uptick in average and exit velocities, albeit with an uptick in strikeout rate (22.4 percent in Triple A this year, up from 19.0 between Double and Triple A in 2021).
Had Casas been healthy, there’s a chance he would have been in the conversation for a call-up by this point. The nearly two lost months, however, suggest that while an end-of-season call-up can’t be ruled out, it’s unlikely he’d emerge as a big-league option until mid- to late August, if then.
Expected back soon
While top prospect Marcelo Mayer left a game for Single A Salem on Sunday with lower back tightness, the injury is considered relatively minor. He should be back soon . . . Another top-five prospect, second baseman Nick Yorke, has been sidelined since July 3 in High-A Greenville because of a wrist injury. The team remains hopeful that the injury’s minor and that he should be back before long, but the wrist adds to a challenging succession of injuries endured this year by the 2020 first-rounder. Yorke has also missed time because of turf toe and back stiffness, contributing to a significant drop in production for the organization’s 2021 Minor League Player of the Year. In 45 games, Yorke is hitting .237/.310/.342.