Pedro Martinez says these two Red Sox are playing “Hall of Fame baseball”
Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez says Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are playing “Hall of Fame baseball.”
Any time a Hall of Famer says you’re playing “Hall of Fame baseball,” you know you’re doing something right.
That’s exactly what Pedro Martinez said about Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers during a NESN booth appearance in the third inning of Sunday’s Red Sox–Orioles series finale.
It’s the ultimate endorsement, game recognizing game.
Bogaerts, who made his big-league debut on August 20, 2013, is now the longest-tenured player on the Sox. He’s only 28 years old, and already has three Silver Slugger awards, three All-Star appearances, and two World Series rings under his belt. He is currently on track to finish the season with an above-.300 batting average for the third consecutive season, and has slugged above .500 four years in a row. Earlier this season, he moved into third on the all-time home runs by Red Sox shortstops list and played his 1,000th career game.
The shortstop affectionately known as X-Man already ranks 13th in franchise history in Offensive WAR. His 140 career home runs is currently tied with Dustin Pedroia for 18th in franchise history. He’s had more at-bats than Sox legends like Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Carlton Fisk, more hits than Mo Vaughn, and more runs scored than Mookie Betts.
More importantly, he has emerged as a true leader in the clubhouse and is the unofficial captain of this team. His mentorship and friendship with Devers has undoubtedly had an incalculable impact on the young third baseman.
It’s hard to believe that Devers is already in his fifth year in the bigs, but the 24-year-old made his debut in August 2017. He’s already led MLB in total bases once and led the AL in doubles, both in 2019. He was key member of the 2018 championship team, and was an All-Star for the first time this year.
Coming into Sunday’s game, Devers’ 94 runs scored were seventh-most in the AL, he’s tied for third in doubles, and his 34th home run of the season puts him one ahead of Bogaerts’ career-high set in 2019.
Pedro Martinez is one of the greatest pitchers of all time
Martinez, who pitched for the Red Sox from 1998-2004, is one of the greatest pitchers not only in franchise history, but all time. During his Red Sox tenure, he was a four-time MLB ERA leader, and led the American League in strikeouts three times, including his career-best 313 strikeout season in 1999. Only Randy Johnson reached 3,000 career strikeouts faster.
Opposing batters slashed .206/.261/.317 with a .578 OPS against Red Sox Pedro, and he won back-to-back AL Cy Young awards in 1999 and 2000, his second and third in four years. He would go on to finish top-four in Cy Young voting every season from 2002-04. Only 21 pitchers have won multiple Cy Youngs, and Martinez became the third in MLB history to win the award in both the AL and NL.
And of course, in 2004, he was a key piece in the Red Sox reversing the curse and winning their first championship in 86 years.
Pedro finished his storied 18-year career with three Cy Youngs, a pitching Triple Crown, eight All-Star appearances, five ERA titles, and a World Series ring. His Hall of Fame induction on his first ballot was indisputable.
So when he says Bogaerts and Devers are Hall of Famers in the making, you should listen. It takes one to know one.