Rafael Devers might be the most animated player on the Boston Red Sox.
Whether he’s taking a ferocious swing, smacking his head while in the batter’s box or scolding himself after a miscue in the field, the 22-year-old is highly entertaining, and that unique personality has served Devers well to this point in his major league career. The Red Sox third baseman already looks like an All-Star-caliber player in just his third season.
Xander Bogaerts, fresh off his second All-Star selection, has walked a mile in Devers’ shoes, experiencing both the highs and lows that come with transitioning from a highly regarded prospect to an elite big league player. The Red Sox shortstop also has had a front-row seat for Devers’ early development and can’t help but marvel at his young teammate’s ability to (literally) take a deep breath and collect himself in the middle of at-bats.
“That breathing thing he has going on, that’s really a place he goes to when he needs to chill and relax and focus back,” Bogaerts recently told The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. “It’s all in a good way. It’s always with him. It’s not like he’s doing it to the pitcher or bat-flipping the pitcher. No. Everything is for himself. It’s that focus for him to be prepared for the next pitch.”
Devers finished the first half strong and entered the All-Star break batting .324 with 16 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .923 OPS. One could argue he should’ve earned a spot in this year’s Midsummer Classic, but don’t be surprised if he ends up there several times moving forward. His sky-high potential is obvious.
“The thing that is most impressive is (Devers) is not settling,” Bogaerts told Jennings. “He’s not happy with two hits, you know? If he gets two hits, he wants another one. And then another one. He’s continuing to be hungry.”
It’s safe to say Devers quickly is becoming a must-watch star for the Red Sox.