David Ortiz made an appearance at the Town Hall during Winter Weekend. See what young Red Sox star he had high praise for.
In 2003, the Boston Red Sox picked up a franchise changing talent. David Ortiz signed with the Red Sox, and helped change the landscape of the franchise forever.
Fast forward fifteen years, and Ortiz is now retired, and standing on stage at the Red Sox annual Winter Weekend as a guest. But even now that he is not on the team, he still has the utmost praise for one current Red Sox player.
We all know about the phenomenal rookie year Rafael Devers had. He slashed .284/.338/.482 in only 58 games for the Red Sox. But there is reason to believe that there is more room to grow. And Big Papi agrees with that sentiment.
For Big Papi to say that Devers “reminds me of myself a lot’ is the highest praise he can hear. Ortiz is possibly the best player to put on a Sox uniform since the turn of the century. But there is even more praise from Ortiz.
Big Papi believes that Devers can be ‘MVP caliber’ by 22 years old, which is next year! Ortiz never won an MVP in his career, despite finishing in the top-three twice.
To think that Devers has the potential to be an MVP candidate by 22 is crazy. People forget that Devers did not turn 21 until the beginning of the World Series. He may not be at third base much longer, but he has the power to hold down the middle of the order for the Sox for years to come.
A lot has been made about the power deficiency that Boston had in 2017, but maybe Devers alone can fix that. After he made his big league debut, he hit ten home runs in 58 games. When spread out over 162 games, he would be on pace to hit 28 home runs in his rookie season, which would have been first on the team by four homers.
That leads many people to believe that he can be Big Papi-esque. However, there will be lofty expectations on Devers this season. He showed how capable he is last year, and now he will need to build on that.
Rafael Devers will be a key piece this year. But who knows, maybe he could be this teams version of Big Papi.