Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is an All-Star
Rafael Devers has never been an All-Star but the 24-year-old will have at least a few in his future, the first of which could come as early as this year.
Devers should have been an All-Star in 2019 when he hit .311 with a .916 OPS, 32 home runs, 115 RBI and a league-leading 54 doubles. In retrospect, it’s a travesty that a player who was 12th on the MVP ballot wasn’t invited to the Midsummer Classic.
Unfortunately for Devers, he got off to a slow start with a brutal May slump that left him unworthy of consideration at the time votes were counted. His breakout would come later that season when he proved himself capable of being a star player but his emergence was too late to earn him the nod.
There was no All-Star Game during last year’s 60-game season but Devers wouldn’t have warranted a spot even if the event was held. Devers regressed significantly at the plate, hitting only .266 with a .793 OPS in 57 games. His decline was even more notable in the field where Devers became a liability with 12 errors and -6 defensive runs saved.
Devers was one of several players hindered by baseball being shut down by the pandemic. He looked good back in Spring Training but after months of isolation, Devers showed up to Summer Camp out of shape and unfocused. He was sluggish in the field and wasn’t able to find any consistency at the plate.
This is a talented young player who hasn’t come close to reaching his ceiling. I’m willing to chalk up last season’s poor performance to unusual circumstances. With a normal offseason and training camp to prepare, expect to see the 2019 version of Devers this year. If we get that for a full season, he will be an All-Star caliber player.