Rafael Devers reaches Red Sox milestone with 150th career home run

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox broke out the brooms to cap a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays behind the bat of Rafael Devers. The superstar third baseman led the team with three hits and four RBI in an 11-5 route that valuted Boston over their division rival into third place in the AL East.

The last of his trio of hits put the icing on the cake. Devers smashed the first pitch he saw in the eighth inning, a 95 mph sinker that stayed up belt-high, for a two-run homer that cushioned a comfortable lead. The 408-foot rocket to right field traveled with an exit velocity of 108.8 mph.

Rafael Devers joins elite company in Red Sox history

This latest home run might not have mattered much in the context of this game, considering the score was arguably already out of reach, but it was a significant milestone for Devers.

This was the 150th home run of his career, which Devers achieved in his 721st career game. Ted Williams (664 games) and Jim Rice (711 games) are the only Red Sox hitters in franchise history to reach 150 home runs in fewer games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The pair of Hall of Famers ahead of Devers on this short list both spent their entire careers with the Red Sox. Williams finished his career with 521 home runs, the most in franchise history, while Rice is fourth with 382 home runs in a Red Sox uniform. After signing an 11-year extension prior to this season, Devers should finish his career in Boston. At his current pace, that would give him a chance to join the Mount Rushmore of Red Sox home run hitters.

“I’m super proud of that new milestone that I have achieved but I’m just hoping to keep hitting home runs and keep driving in runs and helping the team win,” Devers said through a translator, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.

Devers leads the American League with 11 home runs this season, one short of Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Max Muncy's major league lead, per FanGraphs. His 31 RBI ties Devers with Texas Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia. Devers' .558 slugging percentage would be the best of his career and his .318 ISO, which ranks 5th in the majors, would shatter his previous career-high.

The three-hit performance raised Devers' batting average to .240, which would equal his first full major league season in 2018 for the lowest of his career. Don't let the paltry batting average fool you though. Devers still sits in the 85th percentile in Hard Hit% and the 92nd percentile in average exit velocity, per Baseball Savant. Both figures are approximately at his career level. He's still hitting the ball hard, yet his .215 BABIP is well below the major league average and a full 100 points below his career rate. His fortunes are bound to change in the batting average department.

In the meantime, Devers has still been a run-producing machine. The Red Sox have surprised the skeptics with a winning record that has them firmly in the Wild Card race. They are fueled by the second-highest scoring offense in the majors, a powerhouse lineup anchored by Devers.

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