Red Sox Player Profile: Rafael Devers

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The Syndicate's Red Sox Writers and Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later Hosts will be profiling a different Sox player each day to get you ready for the 2020 season.  Today's featured player:

Rafael Devers

Photo courtesy of forbes.com
To say Devers had a breakout season in 2019 would be a massive understatement.  Devers vaulted into the major league upper echelon of hitters and is poised to become one of the game’s great young players. 

Info

·       Position(s): Third Base
·       2020 opening day age: 23
·       Bats / Throws: Left / Right
·       Height / weight: 6’-0” / 237 pounds
·       Nickname: Carita
·       How acquired: International Free Agent Signed 2013
·       Contract status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible $583,500 - Free Agent 2024
·       2019 Stats: .311 BA, 32 HR, 115 RBI, 54 doubles, 129 runs, .361 | .555 | .916 WAR 5.3


MLBshop.com The Official Online Shop of Major League Baseball2019 Season:  Devers got off to a rough start to the season, and early on there was speculation he may return to the minors for additional seasoning.  Through May 2nd, Devers was batting a respectable .298, but had no homers and only ten RBI in 31 games.  He also committed nine errors, including an error in the ninth inning that night that led to a blown save in the first game of a weekend series in Chicago. 

Devers hit his first home run the next night, and it seemed to flip the switch on the season.  Over the remaining 121 games he played, Devers batted .314 with 32 homers and 105 RBI.  He also turned things around defensively, making only 13 errors over that same span.

The other key date for Devers’ 2019 season is June 25th.  It was on that date that Devers was inserted permanently into the second slot in the batting order behind Mookie Betts.  Devers clubbed 19 of his 32 home runs from the two-spot, and his at-bats became must-see viewing.

2019 Key Stat:  359 Total Bases, which led the Major Leagues in 2019.  Devers 54 doubles also led the American League.

BSS Red Sox Podcast TBNL 2020 OUTLOOK

It’s hard to imagine Devers could have a better season than he did in 2019.  It doesn’t help that he will no longer have Betts getting on base in front of him, but pitchers will not be able to pitch around him with JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts behind him in the order.  He is a true hitting savant, and has shown no holes in his swing for pitchers to exploit.  Even his outs tend to be rockets if he gets his bat on the ball.  If he can put together another season close to what he accomplished in 2019, the Red Sox would be wise to lock up Devers with a long-term contract extension.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox Player Profile: Rafael Devers
Red Sox Player Profile: Rafael Devers
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