At some point this summer, the Rafael Devers promotion was inevitable, especially considering his dominance of Double-A and the lack of organizational at third base. In Portland, Devers hit an even .300 with 56 RBI and 18 HR in 77 games. Of course, that was more than enough production to gain a call-up to Pawtucket.
Thus, the 20-year-old is a stud. No questions asked. But that’s exactly why the Red Sox shouldn’t rush him.
Whenever this topic is brought up, a lot of comparisons are made to Andrew Benintendi (age 21) last season. However, Benintendi had already played two full seasons of D-I college ball in the Southeastern Conference before he was even drafted. Devers, on the other hand, was signed at age 17 and has less than 80 games in the high minors.
Dave Dombrowski vowed in a press conference on Friday that the Red Sox would not put pressure on Devers to contribute during a pennant race.
Ultimately, Devers needs the extra time in Triple-A to develop his defense and mature in all facets before he is rushed to Boston. I believe the Red Sox can invest in the 2017 team and make them competitive for a championship. I also believe they can do this without rushing another Rafael Devers promotion and certainly without trading him.
Best Course of Action
If the Red Sox want to acquire Todd Frazier or Martin Prado on a rental and buy time for Devers then I’m all ears. But Red Sox fans should not want to over pay with prospects and commit to Prado or Frazier long term. Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero could get the job done as long as the rest of the lineup hits.
The team finally solved their shortstop problem with Xander Bogaerts. Now they need to solve their third base problem with Rafael Devers.
By season’s end, he’ll probably have about 175-225 AB’s with the PawSox. Should he have a phenomenal Spring Training in February, the job could be Devers’ in April.
Although regardless of how this season or the spring pans out, it’s important to not rush young talent. There’s a certain third baseman in Round Rock, TX that could agree, and he shares my name.