Red Sox Call Up Rafael Devers to Play Third

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 12: Rafael Devers #74 of the Boston Red Sox in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a spring training game at Spectrum Field on March 12, 2017 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

After a demoralizing, 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, in which starter Rick Porcello went the distance but the offense once again failed to get going, the Boston Red Sox decided it was time for a change. Third base has been a gaping hole for Boston since the departure of Adrian Beltre, and this season saw some truly awful play at the hot corner. The Red Sox cut ties with Pablo Sandoval and then tried and failed to trade for Todd Frazier, who instead went to the New York Yankees. With no viable (read: cheap) options left on the market, Dave Dombrowski and co. decided it was time to call up Rafael Devers, the organization’s top prospect. He will debut on Tuesday, and play third when the team faces right-handed pitching.

Red Sox Call Up Rafael Devers

Devers, just 20 years old, has been absolutely destroying the minor leagues this season. In 77 games with Double-A Portland, Devers owned a .300 batting average, a .992 OPS, 18 home runs, and 19 doubles. Devers was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket almost simultaneous to the release of Sandoval, and has so far managed to somehow outdo to gaudy Double-A numbers. In 10 games at the highest level of the minors, Devers slashed .400/.415/.632, with a double and two homers. While 10 games is, admittedly, a small sample size, Devers hasn’t shown a sign of slowing down all season.

Hopefully, he’s just getting started. Devers possesses the kind of powerful, dynamic bat that the Red Sox have lacked all season. Though in first place, the Red Sox have looked very vulnerable, mainly due to their lack of a power threat. Devers is not, and should not be expected to be, the second-coming of David Ortiz, but he can put one heck of a charge on the ball. Though the Red Sox have had trouble scoring, they’ve gotten on base at a good clip this season. Devers could be the key to bringing some of those runners home.

Is He Ready, or are Fans just Ready for Him?

While Red Sox fans should be optimistic about Devers’ potential, it would be wise to be cautiously so. Devers is young, and has had few at-bats above the Double-A level. Like every young player, he’ll experience growing pains. It would be unfair, and place an undue amount of pressure on his shoulders, to expect Devers to suddenly solve all of Boston’s offensive woes. In addition, his glove work remains raw. Red Sox Nation should exercise patience as he continues to learn his position. However, the talent and potential are there; there’s every reason to believe that Devers is ready to succeed at the big league level. There’s no doubt the fans are ready for it.

The Red Sox still have other problems. Their bench is dangerously thin, and they could use another starter and a bullpen arm. However, Devers will bring excitement, energy, and power to a team sorely in need of all three. If all goes well, the front office will be able to check third base off its list of needs.

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