The Boston Red Sox have called up top prospect Rafael Devers hoping that the power-hitting third baseman can give the offense a jolt.
The Boston Red Sox looked into their future at third base and saw a future star. Given the current state of the position, the team has decided the future must start now.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced following Sunday’s loss to the Angles that the team has called up top prospect Rafael Devers. The 20-year old is expected to make his big league debut on Tuesday in Seattle.
Devers spent the majority of this season brutalizing Double-A pitching. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this month, where he has hit .400 in nine games. Overall, he’s hitting .311 with a .955 OPS and 20 home runs cross the two minor league levels.
Apparently that was enough to convince the Red Sox he was ready for the majors. While questions remain about if his defense at third base is ready, it’s his bat that Boston has an urgent need for. The Red Sox are fifth in the league in runs scored this season, but dead last in home runs. They are in dire need of some pop in the lineup and Devers has the type of power that can make a difference.
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Third base has been a black hole in the Red Sox lineup this season. The options they’ve cycled through have combined to hit a mere .227 and rank last in the league with a .600 OPS.
The timing may seem premature for a player who barely had time to settle in at the Triple-A level, yet it’s justified with the trade deadline looming. Boston needed to make a move to upgrade at third base. Devers could be the answer, which would save them from trading away other valuable assets to find a temporary solution while their third baseman of the future gets more seasoning in the minors.
The Red Sox now have about a week to evaluate how Devers acclimates at this level. If he falters then there’s still time to make a deal before the deadline. If he thrives then he has the potential to make more of an impact then anyone available on the trade market.
MLB.com rates Devers as the No. 12 prospect in baseball. He’s easily the best in the Red Sox farm system and about the only prospect who Dombrowski deems almost untouchable in trade talks.
Boston is currently only a game ahead of the New York Yankees in the loss column. After the Bronx Bombers beat them to the punch by acquiring Todd Frazier and upgrading their bullpen, the Red Sox had to counter with a drastic move.
Calling up Devers at least a month before anyone would have dreamed of seeing him in the majors qualifies as drastic. It may seem that there’s a faint scent of desperation trailing this decision, yet if Devers gives the Red Sox offense a boost down the stretch then we may look back at this moment as a turning point for their season.