The Boston Red Sox organization has been really busy at third base lately. Yesterday, they released Jhonny Peralta, then this morning they designated Pablo Sandoval for assignment. Finally, they promoted top prospect Rafael Devers to Triple-A.
Devers will join the Pawtucket Red Sox after a fantastic first half with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
Devers posted a .300/.369/.575 slash line in 77 games for Portland. He mashed 19 doubles and 18 home runs, as well as three triples in that time. The left-handed hitter also drove in 56 runs while scoring 48 more.
Meanwhile, on the defensive side of things, Devers has been solid. His .930 fielding percentage isn’t great, but one can excuse a 20-year-old for making a few mistakes at the hot corner.
The Red Sox have made it clear they don’t want to rush Devers to the majors. That’s probably why it took so long for him to get this promotion.
Although Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero have cleaned up third base a little, Boston has still had some third base problems. So despite the take-it-slow approach with Devers, he may still see the majors this year.
Devers has looked good at every level of the minors so far. What’s most impressive though is that despite Double-A being the highest he’d ever been to, Devers was having his best season in 2017. That indicates that he’s only getting better as a player.
There are still some rumblings about the Red Sox trading for a third baseman as well. Nevertheless, Devers will play a big role in that decision.
If he continues his great season in Triple-A, it would be smart for Boston to hold off on trading for someone. At the same time though, if Devers struggles (or just doesn’t look MLB ready) the Red Sox may be forced to make a move if they want to compete this year.
Either way, don’t expect the Red Sox to be looking for any long-term answers at third base. Rafael Devers is coming.