Mar 22, 2014; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; A Boston Red Sox hat, sunglasses, and baseballs sit in the dugout during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox have one of the best farm systems in baseball, but if there’s one gripe in the organization, it’s the lack of impact talent. The system is stacked with players that could and should develop into solid, above-average MLB regulars, but it has few players that could truly become stars. One exception to that rule, however, is Rafael Devers.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic last summer, Devers was one of the most highly-touted international prospects on the board. Devers is still very young– he won’t even turn 18 until October– but it’s easy to argue that he has the highest upside of any player in the Red Sox’ organization with the exception of Xander Bogaerts.
Devers is a natural third baseman, but if he adds too much mass he may have to move to either first base or left field. If his bats lives up to expectations, however, that move won’t be a problem for Devers. Not only does he have excellent bat speed and the potential to have well above-average hit and power tools, but he also has a plate approach well beyond his years.
Despite being signed around a year ago, Devers is just now getting his first exposure in the professional ranks and to say things have been going well would be a vast understatement. Devers is currently strutting his stuff in the Dominican Summer League and has obliterated the competition in his first 52 plate appearances of the season. He has slashed an incredible .442/.537/.814 with 3 home runs and 18 RBIs in just 11 games. Obviously that line is unsustainable, but Devers likely won’t get a chance to sustain it anyhow as he is likely to be promoted to the Gulf Coast League very soon.
Devers is still raw and will probably move fairly slowly through the Red Sox’ system. However, good things come to those who wait and Devers could be a prime example of that. Devers isn’t on the verge of acquiring national attention just yet, but before too long, we could certainly see his name popping up pretty high on prospect lists (SoxProspects already ranks him the #11 prospect in the Red Sox’ system). If all goes well, you can be bragging to your friends that you had heard of Devers before he even started playing baseball in America!