Rafael Devers has been hitting well so far in 2019 and finally connected for his first home run of the season Friday night in leading the Boston Red Sox to victory.
Big things were expected from third baseman Rafael Devers when he shot up the baseball ranks and arrived on the Boston Red Sox roster in 2017. In 58 games, the hot-shot batted .284 and hit 10 home runs with 30 RBI.
Now in his third season, Devers appears to be putting everything together at the plate. Not that he’s been a disappointment, but we could be seeing the beginnings of a strong 2019.
The latest development? Devers finally hit his first home run of the season in a 6-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. He hit a three-run shot in the first inning, setting the tone for the evening.
Devers has been doing a fine job of hitting for average so far in the early part of 2019. Trouble was, for the first four weeks or so, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts were the only players in front of Devers getting on base consistently.
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He had a seven-game hitting streak snapped in Thursday’s loss to the White Sox. Prior to the 0-4 performance, Devers was 11-27 during the hit streak. With his three-run home run on Friday, Devers now has 10 RBI in his last nine games.
Overall, Devers has 13 RBI and is batting .298 with a .382 OBP. He has 10 multiple-hit games so far in 2019.
He seems to be building off a 2018 performance, at least at the plate. Now, if he could just figure out his play in the field.
A deluge of errors
Devers play on defense has been seen as a liability — for good reason — and was partly a reason he didn’t play every day. He was expected to improve with time, but, even with a few highlight-level grabs, he just hasn’t got to an average level yet.
He’s had 47 total errors in his Boston career, including nine already here in 2019. His fielding percentage sits at .913.
Devers is still only 22, however, and still has time to get better. He doesn’t need a Roger Dorn-style intervention just yet, but he will definitely need to improve.
And he definitely has time. Boston Red Sox great Wade Boggs started slow defensively as well back in his early years. Boggs had 27 errors in his second season and committed 52 total in his first three season.
After committing 20 errors in 1984, Boggs only committed that many in a season once more in his career. He even won two Gold Gloves (albeit those were with the New York Yankees).
So don’t give up hope on Devers’ defensive skills just yet. If he can start hitting home runs again, while hitting .280 or better, and improve on defense, he may very well be an MVP one day.
And maybe even snag a Gold Glove in the future (just as long as he’s a member of the Red Sox when doing it).