The Red Sox should move Rafael Devers to another position.
The Boston Red Sox should think about making Rafael Devers their future designated hitter. It has been something that has been talked about over the past two years and especially over the 2020 season. Devers’ defense has been an issue and whether it was because Alex Cora was not the manager for this past season or not, there are better options to put at the hot corner.
I know what you are thinking and you are right. Currently, the Sox have a designated hitter in JD Martinez. After opting in this offseason, the Red Sox potentially have him for two more years. The transition for Devers to be moved to a permanent DH would happen slowly. It’s not something that is going to happen in a matter of moments or even in a season.
Devers has been playing third base for the Red Sox since the 2017 season but has become their regular third baseman in 2018. Everyone remembers what Devers did in 2017 and if you didn’t, I’ll remind you. This was his first true showing of power when he took New York Yankees closer, Aroldis Chapman, deep off a pitch that almost reached 103 mph. He showed great discipline at the plate. That was the biggest moment of Devers 2017 season.
Also in 2017, Devers committed 14 errors in 54 games. That puts him at .906 for his Fld%. In 2018, it was a little better with .926 in 116 games. His defense was such a problem in 2018 that Eduardo Nunez would be a replacement for him in tight games. Not something a team should have to worry about, especially at third.
In 2019, Devers got better with his fielding. He had a lot of help from Cora and Dustin Pedroia. His fielding percentage jumped to .949 but fell dramatically in 2020. I am not sure if it had to do with the dismissal of Cora or not, but in 57 games, he had committed 14 errors and ended the season with .891 fld%.
After the 2020 season, many people believed that it might be time to look at other avenues for Devers. One of those avenues include switching him up with Bobby Dalbec. Have Dalbec play third base and have Devers learn first. Dalbec had played third in the minors and some in college. It might be a stretch getting Devers over at first, but maybe just maybe it could work out. The idea would be for a season or two until Martinez’s contract is expired or a trade happens to send JD elsewhere.
Moving Devers to first might not happen, but when asked about Devers and Dalbec, Cora mentioned the possibility that Bobby can play third. This could already be in the plans for the 2021 season.
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The reason why I would like the Red Sox to entertain the idea of moving Devers to the DH role simply has to do with his shady defense. Devers has a bat and has shown that throughout his young career. With his big smile and powerful bat, Red Sox Nation could end up giving him the nickname “Little Papi” in honor of the greatest DH to ever play, David Ortiz. Again, moving Devers to the DH role all depends on what happens with JD Martinez in the coming years.