Boston Red Sox: Rafael Devers off to a scorching start

BOSTON, MA - JULY 31: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA - JULY 31: Rafael Devers /

The Boston Red Sox offense got off to a rough start after the All Star break, a major cause for concern at such a crucial time of the season. Yet an unlikely hero in 20 year old third baseman Rafael Devers has stepped up to bring Boston out of a slump over the last few games.

While Rafael Devers was still roaming the minor leagues, star names like Manny Machado and Mike Moustakas were being swirled around the Boston Red Sox rumor mill as the team looked for a potential replacement to take the underperforming Pablo Sandoval’s third base role. Yet, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski decided to give Devers a shot at playing third base after his scorching-hot season in the minors.

In just 9 games after being called up to AAA Pawtucket, Devers hit .400 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. However, expectations were tempered for baseball’s No. 4 prospect, as Red Sox fans certainly remember top prospect Yoan Moncada’s disappointing play after he was called up to the majors last season.

Devers has shattered these expectations, to say the least. In six games with the Boston Red Sox, Devers is batting .417 with 2 HR and 3 RBI. Game 1 of Boston’s latest series against the Indians featured him going 4-4 with an RBI as the Sox cruised to a 6-2 victory.

Aside from displaying the ability to consistently get on base, Devers has reminded the baseball world about his raw power. The very first hit that he recorded in the MLB was out of the ballpark, and a few days later he introduced himself to the Green Monster with another solo homer. 

An Intriguing Young Core

Devers only adds to Boston’s extremely talented young core at the major league level. While fans may complain about Dombrowski dealing away many of Boston’s top prospects, the team still has a slew of players who are producing well in the majors and have loads of potential.

Mookie Betts (24 years old), Xander Bogaerts (24), and Andrew Benintendi (23) are not even close to hitting the primes of their careers, and Jackie Bradley Jr. is not old himself at 27 years of age. Watching these five youngsters develop alongside each other over the next decade will be a delight to see for Red Sox Nation.

BOSTON, MA – JULY 30: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA – JULY 30: Rafael Devers /

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Devers’ strong showing, along with surprisingly great play from newly acquired utility man Eduardo Nunez, has stirred up the Red Sox offense over the past few games. This is critical for the team as it enters the final stretch of the season 0.5 games behind the first place Yankees in the AL East.

The Yankees loaded up before the trade deadline.  The Bronx bombers added power hitter Todd Frazier, relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson, and starters Jaime Garcia and Sonny Gray.

Boston also made some shrewd moves by adding Nunez and reliever Addison Reed.  But in order for the Red Sox to catch up to New York and fend off the chasing Tampa Bay Rays, the team’s internal talent must shake off its slump and start racking up runs.

The offense that led the league in runs scored and batting average last year needs to wake up and start playing up to its potential.

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Let’s hope that Devers’ stellar start inspires the team to roll into October in dominant fashion and gear up for a World Series run.