Red Sox: Three up, three down from May

BOSTON, MA - MAY 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox walks to the dugout after pitching against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Fenway Park on May 18, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox walks to the dugout after pitching against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Fenway Park on May 18, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – MAY 6: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox throws to first base after fielding a ball off the bat of Ronald Guzman of the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 6, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – MAY 6: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox throws to first base after fielding a ball off the bat of Ronald Guzman of the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 6, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Down: Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers, the stud third base prospect, hasn’t been all bad this year. He owns nine home runs and 28 RBI, and has often displayed his tantalizing offensive potential. Unfortunately, there’s been more bad than good thus far.

Calling his experience in the field an adventure would be putting it far too kindly. He’s committed 11 errors in 54 games this season. Last year, he committed 14 in 56, so it’s really impossible to say he’s made much, if any, progress.

At the plate, while his power sometimes breaks through, he too often looks lost and out of control. His swings are too frequently wild, and it’s begun to show on paper. His numbers have taken a nosedive since April, which was a good month for Devers. He hit .258 and drove in 18 runners two months ago. In May, however, he hit an anemic .212 and drove in just seven. More telling is his OPS, which dropped from it’s .748 April figure to .672 for the month of May.

As his discipline has broken down, he’s gotten on base less and has made weaker contact. On positive in all the mess is that his strikeout rate went down, which lends some room for hope. All young player go through slumps, and sometimes greatly protracted ones at that. Devers has the ability; what he needs to do now is harness it. Manager Alex Cora plans to stick with him, and that’s precisely the right decision. The best thing for his swing and his confidence is regular at-bats. More likely than not, Devers will put it together in the end.