The positions are combined for evaluation since there is simply no evaluation. Is this the best-left side duo in baseball? I could make a legitimate proposal that Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado are as good or better, but as provincialism kicks in I will take Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers and leave the other pair to be best in the National League.
Just think of a player who slams 30+ home runs, 50+ doubles, and hits .300. A fantastic season! Then double it and you have the offensive accomplishments of Devers and Bogaerts. They’re the first teammates to EVER accomplish the feat. The superlatives flow with the season that both have had, but to be the real surprise is Devers.
The surprise with Devers is certainly a breakout offensive season, but what stands out is his defense. I had consigned Devers to heading to first or designated hitter after watching his Butch Hobson like defensive displays.
April and early May was a continuing disaster and now? Ah, those defensive metrics! Devers is at 1.8 UZR/150 and may still lead the AL third sackers in error (22), but the second half of 2019 I no longer stop breathing when a ball is hit to third.
The Red Sox are lockdown set at the left side well into the next decade. Bogaerts is now signed, secured, and a team leader. Devers slips back occasionally with bad habits but soon rectifies that.