At only 16 years old, Rafael Devers won’t be playing at Fenway Park any time soon. With the way the international baseball market works, though, the Red Sox will need to act soon in order to secure the third base prospect’s services.
According to Scout.com’s Kiley McDaniel, the Red Sox have jumped to the front of the line when it comes to Devers, who is among the 16-year-old international prospects that MLB teams can start signing on July 2.
American, Canadian and Puerto Rican players can be drafted at age 17 or 18 — once they graduate from high school — but players from other countries can be drafted at age 16. Often times, they are. For example, the Seattle Mariners signed Felix Hernandez as soon as he turned 16. Clearly, that worked out well.
Obviously, a player as elite as Hernandez is rare, but the former Cy Young winner serves as proof that it’s important for teams to keep an eye on what 16-year-old international players will become available to sign once July 2 rolls around.
According to McDaniel, Devers is a 6-foot, 195-pounder who hits left-handed and throws right-handed. McDaniel reports that he was told before scouting Devers that the Dominican is the best hitter in this class, and it’s something that McDaniel has since confirmed.
McDaniel reports that the Red Sox are “hot on Devers’ trail for a seven-figure bonus other teams are unlikely to top.” Devers reportedly lacks projection at this point, although McDaniel considers his upside to be as an “everyday third baseman.”
Have a look at Devers taking batting practice and hitting during an at-bat in the videos below. Then, click the link below that for a more detailed scouting report from Scout.com.