The Boston Red Sox have yet to make that big splash in free agency this offseason. Even if it doesn’t happen though, Rafael Devers will bring the power.
We’re now in February and the Boston Red Sox still haven’t made that “season-changing” move everyone was expecting. There are still those bats out there too *cough* J.D. Martinez *cough*. With Spring Training now right around the corner though, you have to start wondering what the season will be like without a major addition.
On second thought, do you?
Okay, Rafael Devers was on the team last year, but only for 58 regular season games. That’s not even a third of the season.
Despite playing just 58 games (222 at-bats), Devers put up impressive numbers. The left-handed hitter was tied for sixth on the team in home runs (10) and tied for ninth in doubles (14). He was also 10th on the Red Sox with 30 runs batted in and ninth with 34 runs scored.
Devers boasted a .482 slugging percentage which was second on the team behind Eduardo Nunez (.539). Of course, Nunez had even less time with the team (165 at-bats in 38 games).
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The third baseman was also one of the few Boston players to show up in the playoffs. He led the team with two home runs and five RBI, while batting .364.
My favorite “stat” regarding Devers though? He was 20 last season.
This year, the 21-year-old will still be one of the youngest players in baseball. Logic stands to reason that there’s still plenty of growth in his game to go. That means he’s only going to get better.
Defensively, he’s fine. There are some problems, but his athleticism could help him grow at the position. Meanwhile, he’s not a blazer on the base paths, but he has enough speed to cause some problems.
It’s at the plate where the growth could be scariest though. His numbers were already fantastic last season, and that was just in a short period of time. Even if you stretch those numbers out over a full year (not adding any growth to his game) Devers would’ve been an absolute monster.
His .284/.338/.482 slash line is already that of a grown man.
Given another offseason to work on his game – and then a full season in 2018, Devers could be the bat Boston needs.
The Red Sox biggest hole last season was power. Rafael Devers has that (to all parts of the field) in spades. The answer to their problems could be right in front of us.