Not only have Triston Casas and Jarren Durran made the Boston Red Sox proud, they also have done their country a great service.
The Red Sox prospects played key roles in helping the United States baseball team qualify for the Tokyo Olympics last week at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier 2021 tournament. USA went 5-0 and punched its ticket to Tokyo as the only unbeaten team in the regional competition. Darren Fenster, a Red Sox minor league outfield and base-running coach, was Team USA’s third-base coach at the qualifiers. He explained to The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams why Casas and Duran deserve loads of credit for Team USA’s qualification.
“They were incredible in every aspect,” Fenster said. “You look at their numbers, they did something to help us win every game. And a lot of times, whatever kind of scoring rallies we had, they were often right in the middle of it.
“What was really cool to see was how these guys completely immersed themselves into the team. And not just them. The entire team jelled in a way that I’ve never really experienced before. The fact that we were shooting for something pretty special was kind of the root cause of that.”
Duran hit .368 with three RBIs and in 19 at-bats at the Baseball Americas Qualifier 2021. Casas hit .400 with three RBIs in 15 at-bats.
USA Baseball hasn’t announced its roster for the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to take place between July 23 and Aug. 8. McWilliams reckons it’s no certainty either Casas or Duran will make the Olympic squad.
“The Sox haven?t had any discussions about their status for the Olympics,” McWilliams wrote. “The Red Sox aside, making the Olympic roster is a steeper hill to climb. More big league players might become available if they are released.”
Regardless of whether Casas and Duran showcase their talents in Toyko, their futures remain bright. After all both of them appear appear on Baseball America’s latest Top-100 Prospects list, and their respective reputations now have extended beyond Red Sox and minor-league circles.