Boston Red Sox: Rookie Rafael Devers is ready for his MLB debut

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Rafael Devers
FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Rafael Devers /

The Boston Red Sox number one prospect Rafael Devers is slated to make his MLB debut tonight in Seattle.

When the 20-year-old third baseman was called up from triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, Red Sox nation went into a frenzy. Many fans, writers, and MLB experts have said that Devers is not ready for the jump to the bigs and onto the Boston Red Sox roster.

Third base has been the center of attention for this year’s Red Sox team, as they have struggled to find a stalwart producer at the position. The Red Sox have gone with a platoon of Deven Marrero, Tzu-Wei Lin, Brock Holt, and he-who-must-not-be-named, Pablo Sandoval. To put it concisely, it’s been a disaster.

I, for one, am a huge fan of Dave Dombrowski’s move to call up Devers. While his body makeup is loosely similar to a player called “The Panda”, I don’t hold that against him. Devers has impressed at all levels thus far, and there’s no use leaving him in Pawtucket to produce for the Paw Sox.

Young and Ready

Rafael Devers can hit. Plain and simple. He’s got a smooth lefty swing and power to all fields. According to Baseball Reference, through 86 games with the Red Sox double-A and triple-A affiliates, Devers has posted a slash line of .311/.377/.578.

To go along with those strong numbers, Devers hit 20 home runs, which have been foreign to the Red Sox this season. Having lost so much power in David Ortiz, the Red Sox lineup is in need of a strong lefty presence.

Devers has heard rave reviews about his hitting potential, and while his fielding is still developing (.917 fielding% in the minors), he will undoubtedly adjust to the speed of major league baseball. He has adjusted well to promotions throughout his career so far.

Not Alone

The Red Sox are no strangers to bringing their young prospects up to the big club. Xander Bogaerts was called up at the tender age of 20. Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts were both called up at the age of 21. Jackie Bradley Jr. was called up as an old man, at age 23.

In a video on NESN, Andrew Benintendi spoke about the sage advice he would give Devers, and that was that “it’s the same game, it’s baseball, still gotta get three outs and everything. He’ll probably be all jacked up and excited, so just slow things down”.

He’ll have no shortage of company when it comes to young players, and he’ll also have veteran Dustin Pedroia to counsel him.

Out Of Options

When it comes to options at third base, the Red Sox are all out. There have been many trade rumors, and while outsourcing for hot corner production is somewhat sensical, I don’t think it would be the right move.

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In the words of Silky Johnson, “what can I say about the Red Sox farm system that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan? It’s worn down and depleted.” There’s no reason to trade away more of the future for a middle of the road producer at third base.

With Devers climbing his way up the minor league ladder, it would be illogical to not at least try him out. Should Devers struggle, let the search begin. Until then, however, let’s work with the elite talent that we’ve got.

Despite talks that Devers is not ready, I believe that he will give the Red Sox the highest level of production they have seen at third base all season. My expectations are tempered, and I do not believe he will solve all of the Red Sox’ offensive woes, but the potential is there.

Next: Did Devers get called up too early?

No matter how he fares, the Red Sox front office will find out what they have in Devers. Having shown promise at every level thus far, he has earned himself the opportunity to play at the highest level.