Call up Devers
The trade for Nunez was paired with the major league debut of top prospect Rafael Devers to give the Red Sox lineup a second-half boost. While Nunez was initially acquired to fill the void at third base it was the rookie who would end up seeing the vast majority of playing time at the hot corner following his arrival. This allowed Nunez to use his versatility to fill in at any infield position, primarily seeing time at second base while Pedroia was sidelined.
Devers took the league by storm, blasting eight home runs in his first 20 games in the big leagues. He fell into a bit of a power drought after that as pitchers caught up to him, although that’s to be expected from a 20-year old with limited professional experience. It’s now up to Devers to make adjustments heading into his first full season but he’s flashed the potential to be a 30+ home run hitter later in his career.
His batting average stayed above the .300 mark until he was over one month into his career and finished at a respectable .284 for the season. With his power potential and the ability to hit for a solid average, Devers has a ceiling that can match any hitter on this Red Sox roster.
Among the highlights of his rookie campaign was a 4-for-4 performance against the Cleveland Indians that put him in elite company as one of only four players in franchise history to collect four hits in a game at age 20 or younger. He also hit a game-tying home run off New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman on a 102.8 mph pitch, setting an MLB record for the fastest pitch to be hit for a home run since Statcast began tracking this data in 2008. The next day be became the third player in franchise history to homer in consecutive games before the age of 21 and the third youngest to record a multi-homer game.
The future is bright for this blossoming young star and the first opportunity for fans to see him face major league pitching generated a tremendous amount of excitement.