The Boston Red Sox are taking it slow with top prospect Rafael Devers, but his play combined with the current state of third base affairs at the big league level might make it difficult to keep him in the minors.
The 20-year-old third baseman continues to hit for power with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, as he slugged two more home runs Wednesday night against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
… and he didn’t get cheated on either blast.
That’s some major league power right there, and the Red Sox front office should be salivating by his ability to drive the ball the other way with power, as he did with his first home run of the night.
Devers’ pre-Fourth of July fireworks show gives him 16 home runs on the season, and a three-hit night boosted his batting average to a shade below .300. There must be at least some temptation for Boston to promote Devers, as the club’s collective .210 batting average from its third basemen ranks dead last in Major League Baseball and the unit’s wRC+ (with 100 being league average) sits at a paltry 44.
“I wouldn’t be surprised with his case that at some point before we would make a major-league step at any point that he would go to Triple-A at some time, but it’s something we have a pulse on all the time, and we just don’t think he’s quite ready,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI (via the Boston Herald) earlier this month. “We’d love him to be, because that’s why when you even talk about third base, you’re not looking for long-term type of projections, because with Rafael Devers, once he gets here, he’s going to be a third baseman in this organization for a long time. But it’s one where we don’t think he’s quite ready at this point.”
Whether that line of thinking changes anytime soon is yet to be seen, but if Devers — who also was named an Eastern League All-Star on Wednesday — can continue to flex his muscles like this, he might force the club’s hand.
Thumbnail photo via Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports Images