Red Sox: Rafael Devers sits atop the offensive throne for AL third basemen
Rafael Devers brings power for the Red Sox at third base
It was one hell of a long night last night at Fenway Park but when all was said and done the Red Sox walked away with the win and can now enjoy their off day. The man that made the difference in the box score was none other than Rafael Devers, something he’s become accustomed to doing. Boston has plenty of big bats in the lineup and one of the biggest over the last few years has become Raffy, and the stats more than back that up.
Now, does the big man have some bad nights at the dish, of course, but it feels like those have become few and far in between nowadays. In fact, after last night’s heroics, he finds himself atop the offensive throne for American League third baseman. Even better yet, he is second in the entire MLB at the hot corner sitting just behind Kris Bryant, which there’s no shame in that. I’m sure many of you are saying how is that so with guys like Alex Bregman, Kyle Seager, and Jose Ramirez in that group, but the numbers don’t lie.
Per Fangraphs, Raffy’s .278/.352/.602/.397 line with his MLB leading 14 homers and MLB leading 43 RBI has him as the king of the castle. He’s also tied with Yoan Moncada with an AL-best 2.0 WAR which also falls just behind Bryant’s 2.4. Oh Yeah, he also has an MLB leading .324 ISO which just further shows what kind of power this kid has. If you guys are getting tired of seeing phrases like “MLB-best,” and “MLB leading,” I apologize, but Big Scoops is mashing and it’s not my fault.
Red Sox skipper Alex Cora loves what he’s seeing from his young infielder and expressed his happiness with what Devers is doing with the media after the big win.
"“He got an 0-2 breaking ball, put a great swing on it and hits a home run. Then stays on a fastball, he doesn’t get pull happy, and hits it off the wall,” manager Alex Cora said. “So that’s a good sign right there for him to get a fastball and hit it the other way.”"
Cora hit the nail on the head as far as Devers pulling the ball as we’ve all seen the level of shift the slugger sees every night at the plate. If he can continue to be patient at the dish and show that he can send the ball the other way consistently then opposing teams won’t be shifting as much. This will then open the field back up to him being able to pull the ball and at Fenway Park that can mean plenty of extra-base hits down the first base line. This should put an even bigger smile on Raffy’s face as he pretty much solely hits either doubles or homers.
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I think a lot of our time is spent on talking about Devers’ comrade on the left side of the infield but Xander Bogaerts is more than happy to talk about how good his buddy is. We’ve seen this relationship develop over the last few seasons and the duo is becoming one of the best one-two punches in any lineup the league over. Add in the guys that surround them in the batting order and the Red Sox have one of the best if not the best cores in the game right now.
"“When he’s locked in, he’s very dangerous,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “He’s not the type of guy who can just do it for a couple of days. He can ride it a long time. That’s just a credit to the talent and the work he puts in. Once you see him so confident, it’s something that’s very nice to see.”"
Rafael Devers is not only one of the best hitters in the Red Sox lineup but he’s one of the best offensive third basemen in the entire MLB. While he’s still progressing in the defensive department his skills in the batter’s box are unquestionable. Add in his ability to hit a ball 400ft with the flick of the bat and he’s a guy we’ll be talking about for the long term. It would be in Boston’s best interest for Chaim Bloom to begin working out a deal that would see Raffy stay here for the foreseeable future.