Major League Baseball has named Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers the American League Player of the Month for May.
Anyone tuning in to watch the Boston Red Sox last month recognized that there isn’t a hotter hitter in the league than Rafael Devers. Major League Baseball clearly agrees.
Devers has been named as the Player of the Month for the American League, while Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell earned the honors in the National League.
Stating that this was the best month of the 22-year old’s career would be quite the understatement. Few hitters ever enjoy the type of torrid stretch that Devers has been on the last few weeks. He hit .351/.380/.640 with eight home runs, 25 runs scored and 24 RBI in May.
This production placed Devers near the top of nearly every offensive category in May. Among AL hitters with 100+ at-bats last month, Devers tied for the league-lead in runs, was second in slugging percentage while ranking third in average, OPS, and RBI. He also tied for fourth in the league in home runs.
All eight of Devers’ home runs this season were tallied last month, with his first of the year coming on May 3. He homered in three consecutive games in Toronto from May 20-22. Those eight homers are the most Devers has ever hit in a single month.
The power surge wasn’t limited to balls that cleared the fence, as Devers added seven doubles and his first career triple last month. He also swiped a few bags in May and now has a career-high seven steals already.
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Devers recorded at least one hit in 21 of the 26 games he appeared in during the month of May. That includes 14 multi-hit games, five of which were three-hit games. Devers recorded three hits in each game during a series against the Seattle Mariners from May 10-12, going 9-for-14 that weekend.
The offensive explosion by Devers helped carry the Red Sox out of their early-season funk. Boston was puttering along with a 13-17 record at the end of April before going 16-11 in May. Granted, there are other factors to explain that turnaround but Devers carried the offense at times and was easily the most productive bat in their lineup.
Devers joins J.D. Martinez (August 2018), Mookie Betts (July 2016), and Jackie Bradley Jr. (May 2016) as active members of the Red Sox who have earned AL Player of the Month honors. Dustin Pedroia, who is technically still part of the team even if he may never play again, was a recipient in July 2011.
For the season, Devers is now hitting .316/.372/.498, all of which would be career highs. He’s on pace for a 20/20 campaign to go along with his strong batting average. If he continues to make strides on the defensive side, Devers could develop into a true five-tool talent.