Boston Red Sox extra bases: Rafael Devers living up to Big Papi’s praise

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 30: Rafael Devers
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 30: Rafael Devers /

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is only in his first full season, but already delivering clutch hits in the big leagues.

Cool, calm, collected and talented.  Those are just a few words to describe Boston Red Sox rookie third baseman Rafael Devers.  Four games into the 2018 season, Devers has delivered in key moments to add clutch to his name.

Towards last season, the organization’s top prospect got the call up sooner than expected to give the Red Sox offensive a jolt.  He did that and more.  In just 58 games, he batted .284 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI.  Not only did he show he could produce at the major league level, he showed that he can produce on the big stage.

Devers delivered a memorable inside-the-park home run in the 2017 Divisional Round series as part of his .364 batting average, two homers and five RBI overall in the four games he played.

He was definitely one of the bright spots in the playoffs and so far this season, he is one of the few offensive players delivering.  While he is not ripping the ball off the cover like Xander Bogaerts, he is coming through when the team really needs him.

Devers knocked in two runs in the teams Opening Day loss to the Tampa Bay Rays and delivered the winning run in the team’s 1-0 victory Friday night.  He added to his trend of clutch hits with another go-ahead RBI in Sunday’s 2-1 win to close out the four-game series.

He’s young, but he is already proving to be the real deal and showing some shades of David Ortiz with his clutch factor.  That is something Big Papi even acknowledged prior to the season.

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"“He reminds me of myself a lot,” Ortiz said at Red Sox Winter Weekend, via  “Because at that age, you come into the league all wild, just trying to have fun and get things done.  And the little time that he have, he impressed me.  He impressed me because he’s not into the mechanical side of the game yet.  He’s just out there having fun, playing the game without an experience.”"

Overall, Rafael Devers is hitting just .250 in the three games he has played.  But, it is when and where those hits have come that makes him the real deal. Like Ortiz said, he is a young kid just having fun.  At the same time, he is showcasing a veteran patience that will only make better when he does figure out the mechanical side of the game.

J.D. Martinez gets his first Red Sox RBI

Boston Red Sox newcomer J.D. Martinez got his first RBI as a member of the team on Sunday.

Martinez ripped a slider into left field in the fifth inning to tie the game at 1-1.  Rafael Devers knocked in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.

While the RBI he delivered on Sunday was just the first of many expected by the veteran slugger, it was good to see him come through in a big spot so early in the season.  It also appears that he may be getting his swing going.

Next: Boston Red Sox: Starting rotation is getting the job done

Martinez also had a potential big hit taken away in the sixth when he was robbed by Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Mallex Smith.