Red Sox News: Rafael Devers disappointed he won’t play for Cora in 2020
Boston Red Sox third baseman flourished under his former manager Alex Cora. Sadly, the young upstart will have to continue his career without the skipper.
There weren’t many positives to come out of the 2019 season for the Red Sox and it feels like 2020 may be heading down that same road. One of the few bright spots came in the form of Rafael Devers. The third baseman evolved into a dynamo on offense and saw his defensive skills sharpen during his first season as the every day third baseman.
From the get-go, it was clear that Devers had forged two strong bonds since joining the big leagues and they were with Alex Cora and Xander Bogaerts. Bogey has adopted the role of being the on-field big brother to Raffy and can always be seen giving him advice and counsel. As far as Cora is concerned, Devers spoke at Boston’s Winter Weekend and went as far as to say AC was his like his baseball dad.
"“I love playing for him,” Devers said at Red Sox Winter Weekend here at MGM Springfield. “It’s unfortunate. I really was sad to hear that he wasn’t going to be our manager anymore.”"
I can imagine what it’s going to be like for Rafael this spring when he makes his way to Fort Myers and doesn’t have his father figure there to guide him. Being a professional, I’m sure he’ll find a way to manage, especially with Xander still beside him on the diamond. However, losing one of your chief mentors and guides in your career won’t be an easy transition.
With Cora gone, Devers and the rest of the Red Sox will have to find a way to navigate the waters with a new captain at the helm. This squad has the camaraderie that will allow them to overcome the management shake-up and succeed in 2020.
"“He’s someone who has so many years of experience and so much knowledge of baseball that he’s someone I always relied on,” Devers said. “I’ve spoken to him. I’ve spoken to Bogey (Xander Bogaerts) as well as other teammates in regards to the situation. It’s sad but I’ve just got to keep moving forward now.”"
Raffy gave Red Sox Nation plenty of hope during the 2018 campaign and he followed up those efforts with one hell of a 2019. The third baseman found himself ranked 12th overall for his batting this past year, joining fellow Red Sox stars Mookie Betts and Bogaerts in the Top-15. Devers slashed .311/.361/.555/.916 while also knocking in 115 RBI.
He also led the AL with 54 doubles, coupled with his 32 homers, he would join the illustrious 30/50 club with Bogey. They became the only teammates in MLB history to do it in the same season. It’s hard to deny what he did at the plate was some serious business especially since a lot of what he was doing has been done by a Red Sox player since Ted Williams.
There’s still so much time before Opening Day and yet if you told me it was next week I’d believe you. The team needs a new manager and with that comes another wave of possible changes.
Luckily, Boston has a constant at the hot corner in Raffy and that’s something they won’t have to worry about for 2020. If we see another improvement thanks to his offseason workout regimen then the sky will be the limit for Devers next year.
"“He’s like a father figure to me, especially in baseball,” Devers said. “I’m really sad he’s not with us.”More from Red Sox NewsRed Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports GroupBizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departureRed Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contractRich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB recordRed Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure"
In the same breath though we could see a regression from him now that one of his constants is now gone. If Chaim Bloom and his bosses choose to remain in-house for Cora’s replacement then we should see a carryover of AC’s beliefs within the clubhouse.
His goal was to unite the team through camaraderie and positivity, everyone took care of each other. That kind of clubhouse mentality is what has allowed Devers to grow and blossom into one hell of a third baseman.
Rafael Devers proved that he not only belonged in the big leagues in 2019 but that he should be in the big-time conversations. His numbers more than earned him the right to be in the MVP talks but with the Red Sox performing so poorly, his season was mostly overlooked. If he takes what he did last year and improves upon it to reach new heights in 2020, we very well may see another MVP trophy coming to Fenway Park.