MIAMI, Fla. – With Major Leaguers and top minor league prospects on display at Marlins Park over the next few days, 2018 high school prospect Triston Casas had an opportunity to join in the action.
Casas, an American Heritage product and Miami commit, participated in the high school home run derby on Sunday prior to the Futures Game.
“I had fun coming out here with all of these guys and just hitting in the stadium,” said Casas, who did not advance to the final round. “The atmosphere was great. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Casas had a locker in the U.S. Team clubhouse filled with a number of talented players.
“Seeing all these guys walking around here, I know a couple guys like Triston McKenzie, Zack Collins, but seeing these guys like Brendan Rodgers and Bo Bichette walking around here, these big-time names that graduated a year or two ahead of me is great,” Casas said. “And seeing all of these Hall of Famers walk around here like Dave Winfield and Cliff Floyd, it’s just been a great experience and I’m taking it all in.”
Casas is coming off a junior seaso
n where he hit .446 with five doubles, four home runs, and 18 RBIs for the Patriots, who went 20-7.
“Personally I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t satisfied as well,” Casas said. “I’m always looking to get better and improve my stats. Obviously as a team I would describe it as sub-par and disappointing. Any time you don’t win a state championship when you’re at American Heritage it’s a disappointing season. It was definitely not a great season this year.”
Casas has verbally committed to Miami and envisions playing for the Hurricanes.
“I love Miami,” Casas said. “I always wanted to stay home for college. The atmosphere is great. I love the weather here. I love being close to my family and friends. It’s a great baseball program and I can’t speak more highly of the academics for the University of Miami so I’m all in and I want to see Miami be great again so I definitely want to become a Hurricane this next year.”
Casas has a good bond with Collins, who also went to American Heritage, and he has been closely following his career.
“He’s been through it all,” Casas said. “I’m basically following in his footsteps almost every step of the way. I attend American Heritage. I want to go to Miami. I want to be on the national teams. He just tells me to take it all in because it flies by and he looks back at all the things he’s accomplished and he tells me it’s almost like a blur.
“So he tells me to take it all in and have fun with it before it starts being a job because once it starts becoming a job there’s more expectations and the stakes are high.”
Christopher Stock has covered the Miami Hurricanes since 2003 and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org