Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers reaches 200 career RBI

CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 13: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox hits an RBI double during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 13, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 13: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox hits an RBI double during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 13, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is only 22 years old but he’s already recorded 200 RBI in his brief career and currently leads the league.

Rafael Devers is younger than many of the top prospects in the Boston Red Sox farm system yet he’s already established himself as a superstar at the big league level.

Devers drilled a ninth-inning home run to deep center field to cap a two-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. The solo shot gave Devers his league-leading 104th RBI on the season and the 200th of his career.

The RBI total is impressive for anyone who barely has 300 career games under their belt but Devers enters into historical territory when you factor in his age. He joins Ted Williams, Tony Conigliaro, and Bobby Doerr as the only Red Sox hitters to tally 200+ RBI before turning 23 years old.

Devers will turn 23 in October, so while he still has over a month to add to his total, he’s not going to catch Doerr (272) for third place on this list. However, Devers reached 200 RBI in only 309 career games. That’s .647 RBI per game for his career, an average topped by only Teddy Ballgame (.867) among this group of under-23 Red Sox hitters.

Devers also finds himself near the top of the list in many of the advanced statistical categories for Red Sox hitters at this age. He’s fourth in franchise history with a 118 wRC+ and fifth with a .354 wOBA at age 22 or younger.

FanGraphs ranks Devers eighth in the majors with 5.6 fWAR this season. Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. (4.9) and Washington’s Juan Soto (4.1) are the only other under-23 hitters in the majors with an fWAR above 4.0 this season.

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We saw flashes of his potential when Devers got a taste the big leagues in 2017. He hit .284 and drove in 30 runs in 58 games. A sophomore slump saw his batting average drop to .240 last season and he notched only 66 RBI in 121 games. Despite taking a few lumps in the early stages of his career, Devers performed well enough to stick in the majors and was on the verge of 100 career RBI as a 21-year old.

His breakout season has proven that he’s figured out major league pitching. Devers enters the day leading the American League in RBI while ranking third with a .323 batting average and fourth with a .964 OPS.

Devers also leads the league with 48 doubles and he’s already set a career-high with 28 home runs. He joins teammate Xander Bogaerts as the only major league hitters currently on pace for 30+ homers and 50+ doubles this season. There have never been two players from the same team who have reached both benchmarks in the same season in MLB history.

Next. Bogaerts joins rare territory for shortstops. dark

Devers has 162 game averages of 31 homers and 105 RBI in his career. If that’s what he’s capable of over the course of a full season now, imagine what he can accomplish once he approaches his prime. That could be years from now but we’ll almost certainly see the best years of Devers in a Red Sox uniform since he won’t be eligible for free agency until 2024.