When it comes to the best young players in Major League Baseball, Red Sox manager Alex Cora believes Rafael Devers should feature more prominently in the conversation.
Devers, whose 25th birthday is Oct. 24, joined elite company during Friday’s defeat of the New York Yankees. He logged his 100th career home run, becoming the third Boston player to do so before turning 25 — alongside Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro.
With that fresh on his mind, Cora said he wants Devers to get the recognition he deserves.
“Whenever I’m watching TV and they’re talking about the young players, the young star players, they forget their name,” Cora said before Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees. “They forget him. He’s only 24, and that’s something people forget. He turns 25 in October. He led the big leagues in extra-base hits two years ago, he’s doing what he’s doing right now. He’s one of the best players in the big leagues, and he better be in the conversation of best young players in the big leagues, too.”
That conversation seems to trend toward Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto (Washington Nationals). But Devers is on to something special in 2021.
At the end of Friday’s game, he led third basemen in runs (66), home runs (26), OPS (.939) and slugging percentage (.582). His 79 RBIs lead the league.
In the midst of his fifth MLB season, it seems like Devers is on the path to something special.