Red Sox: Which player has the most to prove going into 2019?
Rafael Devers (Not arbitration eligible until 2021)
Who doesn’t love the young 3rd basemen that made the bum “Panda” Pablo Sandoval rendered useless? Devers’ first hit was coincidentally his first major league home run against the Mariners on July 26th in a 4 – 0 victory in Seattle. This was the end of the Sandoval Era in Boston, one of the worst moves ever made. Devers would make improvements from 2017 to 2018.
2019 is a big year for the young 22-year-old. Devers slashed .284/10/30/3 in 2016 and followed that with a better 2017 campaign with a .240/21/66/5 slash. Some can expect him in 2019 to get something similar to a .268/27/85/7 line. Devers is getting more comfortable and by the time he’s in his mid 20’s should be one of the best guys manning the hot corner in the major leagues.
For two straight seasons, Devers has had his way with Houston in the postseason which has been great as Houston is one of the better teams in the American League. One thing that fans and teammates are hoping that get a little bit better is the defensive issues that caused problems. Still, nothing was as bad as Edgar Renteria at Short Stop who seemed to throw it everywhere but the right place when he committed 30 errors as a member of the Red Sox.
Devers needs to also see his on base percentage, slugging numbers, and OPS numbers increase. This along with the increase in performance from several key players will be a major boost for the team in Bean Town.