Red Sox organization have a Big Presence on the Olympic Baseball Roster
Bryan Mauro- Contributing Writer
Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Baseball is back in the Olympics and as with every Olympic year the best players throughout the minors are called to represent their country for the duration of the tournament. The Red Sox are going to be very well represented in the tournament and it is going to be the first time for many of us in Red Sox Nation to get an extensive look at these players.
The organization had three finalists for the Olympic team with Tristan Casas, Jarren Duran and Jack Lopez. Casas and Lopez were selected for the team and Duran was not. I will discuss more why Duran was left off the team in a little bit. Casas is a player who Red Sox fans have gotten a brief look at as he looked really good in spring training. He was usually playing for only a few innings as most do in spring training games. Lopez is a little known player who many fans don’t know much about, but he is having a very good year in the minors and will be a key piece to the Olympic roster.
Casas is going to be cornerstone piece in the infield for Boston for many years to come. He is likely going to end up being a middle of the order bat as the power is real. The projected date for Casas to be called up to the big leagues is the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023. He also is going to be discussed in virtually every trade proposal involving Boston this year. Casas isn’t likely to be traded, unless it is going to be a Chris Sale type deal.
The Olympic roster is going to see Casas hit in the middle of the order and he is going to be expected to drive in runs for Team USA much like he is going to be expected to drive in runs for Boston when the call up happens. Casas Olympic commitment is going to take him away from the minors through the beginning of August and the Red Sox are going to have some control how much wear and tear team USA puts on Casas. Either way team USA manager Mike Scioscia is going to love coaching Casas and when he is able will pencil him into the lineup every game.
Jack Lopez is in his first year in the Red Sox organization. He is a 28 year old utility infielder who has never made the big leagues. However, if he continues to swing the bat in Worcester it wont take long for him to find his way to the big leagues. Lopez is currently sporting a .348 batting average/.385 On Base Percentage/ .477 OPS. Those are great numbers especially for a player who can hit in the lead off spot or what is more likely down in the bottom third of the lineup. It is a tremendous opportunity for Jack Lopez to show the world what he can do.
Photo Credit: Ashley Green/Telegram & Gazette
The one glaring omission from the Olympic roster is Jarren Duran. Duran was slated to be on the team but at the last minute the Red Sox organization pulled him back because he would be unavailable to them until August. Earlier today talks hinted that the Red Sox hoped that they would be able to call up Duran at some point in the second half and want to have the ability to do so. If he was tied up on the Olympic roster his chances of making his big league debut were slim. It is a good thing that Duran is not on the Olympic team.
The baseball tournament runs from July 28th through August 7th and we should all get a nice long look at two of the Red Sox prospects. Former minor league manager Darren Fenster is also one of the coaches for this event. The Olympics are a great event showcasing the best talent in the world and this year when the baseball tournament finally returns it will have a huge Red Sox flare as well.