Red Sox Update: Devers making an immediate impact in Boston
By Cody Collins
Under the high expectations of being a top prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, Rafael Devers has been every bit as advertised.
The Boston Red Sox fan base erupted with elation after hearing the news that their top prospect would be shipping up to Boston. After dealing with the revolving door of third base, Red Sox fans have been anxious for a long-term solution. Rafael Devers has been that so far.
The top prospect in Boston’s organization, has lived up to every bit of hype. After having a few promising at-bats against perennial All-Star, Felix Hernandez, Devers delivered against Mariners’ right-hander Andrew Moore. In his second game, Devers launched a 400+ foot home run to center field at the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. Though only his first major league home run, he exemplified the true Major League power that he possesses.
Not only has Devers flashed raw power, he has also shown his ability to put together quality at-bats. After hitting his first home run, Devers collected a base hit off of tough lefty-specialist, Marc Rzepczynski.
The only blemish that Devers had in his game, before being called up, is that his defense was not developed. Through five games, Devers has been a steady presence at the hot corner, committing only one throwing error.
"“He’s calm,” Farrell said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He’s been very good defensively — (Saturday) night, yes, there was a throwing miscue — but he starts a couple of double plays (Sunday). His first-step quickness and reaction off the bat has been better than anticipated, to be honest with you. – John Farrell via NESN"
We had been told to expect a below-average fielder, but that his offense was more than enough to make up for any defensive blemishes. Thus far, Devers has been even better than advertised defensively, and has shown that he is more than capable of handling Major League pitching. His defense has also been very solid.
Red Sox fans have been quick to compare Devers to former Sox prospect, Yoan Moncada. Moncada, ironically, hit his first home run on the same day as Devers, but has had far more struggles than the 20-year old Sox prospect.
Devers has struggled occasionally with striking out – 21% in a small sample size; however Moncada’s struggles have been far worse. The White Sox prospect struck out 60% of the time in a Red Sox uniform last year, and 34% of the time this year, according to FanGraphs.
There is plenty of buzz surrounding the young Red Sox prospect and his play has done nothing to calm that. Devers also launched his first home run at Fenway Park – an opposite field blast above the Green Monster off of Jason Hammel.
"“It was really cool,” Devers said. “To hit a home run here with all the Red Sox fans, it was an awesome experience. All I was focused on was running the bases and making sure that I was hustling. So, I didn’t really pay too much attention.” – Rafael Devers via Nathan Rubinstein / MassLive"
There was talk that the recent acquisition of Eduardo Nunez would limit Devers playing time, but that has not been apparent thus far. Devers has been a presence in the lower part of the Red Sox order. Hopefully a presence that remains there for many years to come.