Devers with the Boston Red Sox in 2017
|Boston Red Sox – No. 11|
|Born: October 24, 1996|
Sánchez, Dominican Republic
|July 25, 2017, for the Boston Red Sox|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2018 season)
|Runs batted in||96|
|Career highlights and awards|
Rafael Devers Calcaño (// DEV-ərz; born October 24, 1996) is a Dominican professional baseball third baseman for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). Listed at 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m) and 210 pounds (95 kg), Devers bats left-handed and throws right-handed.
The Red Sox signed 16-year-old free agent Devers in August 2013. Devers, who ranked sixth overall among the top 50 international prospects, agreed to a $1.5 million deal. According to an MLB.com report, he was at the time considered by some scouts to be the best left-handed hitter available on the international market.
Devers debuted on May 31, 2014, with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox rookie club. He batted 14-for-30 for a .467 batting average and slugged .800 in eight games. In June he continued to show his value leading the DSL Sox with a slash line of .337/.445/.538, three home runs and 21 RBI, walking more times (21) than he struck out (20), while playing in all 28 of the team's games thus far and had reached base in all but one. In addition, his .983 on-base plus slugging statistic was rare for the DSL level, while his .533 slugging average in this period is the highest mark for an everyday player for the Red Sox since at least 2005, which is as far back as online statistics for the DSL go. On July 3, he was promoted to the Gulf Coast League Red Sox of the Rookie Class GCL. Devers hit .372 and slugged .564 in 22 July games for the GCL Red Sox, including seven doubles, two home runs, 31 RBIs, and a .438 on-base percentage. Overall, Devers finished with a .322/.404/.506 line, seven home runs, and 57 RBI, while appearing in 70 games across two minor league levels. He posted 36 RBI for the Sox, tying for third in the GCL, and also ranked among the top 10 in batting average (.312). He later contributed with a game-winning homer and three RBI in the playoffs, as the GFL Red Sox claimed their second Championship title. Additionally, he was named to the 2014 GCL Postseason All-Stars team. He climbed from No. 13 to No. 5 in MLB.com's latest ranking of Red Sox prospects this season.
Devers joined Low Class A Greenville Drive in 2015, where he was selected for the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Soon after, MLB.com announced that Devers would be member of the World Team roster in the All-Star Futures Game. Devers was invited by the Boston Red Sox to participate on its 2016 spring training. He then was promoted to High-A Salem Red Sox to start the regular season. At the time, he was rated as the Red Sox's No. 2 prospect and No. 14 overall, according to MLB.com.
Devers started the 2017 season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, where he hit .300 with 18 home runs in 77 games. On July 14, Devers was promoted to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, where he hit .400 with 2 home runs in 9 games.
Boston Red Sox
On July 24, 2017, Devers was promoted to the Boston Red Sox, five days after the team released Pablo Sandoval. On July 26, Devers collected his first major league hit, a home run off of Andrew Moore of the Seattle Mariners. Devers became the youngest Red Sox player (at 20 years, 275 days old) to hit a home run since Tony Conigliaro (at 20 years, 265 days old) in 1965. On August 13, Devers hit a ninth-inning game-tying home run off of Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman's pitch was clocked at 102.8 mph (165.4 km/h), which was the fastest pitch hit for a home run since 2008, when MLB started tracking pitch velocity. On August 15, while playing third base, Devers initiated a triple play on a ground ball hit by Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals. During the regular season, Devers appeared in 58 games with the 2017 Red Sox, batting .284 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. Defensively, he started 56 games at third base and had a .906 fielding percentage.
In the postseason, Devers hit a two-run home run in Game 3 of the ALDS against the eventual World Series champions, the Houston Astros, giving the Red Sox their first lead in any game of the series. Devers became the youngest Red Sox player to homer in the postseason, and only the sixth player in MLB history to hit a home run in the playoffs before his 21st birthday, joining Mickey Mantle, Andruw Jones, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado, and Bryce Harper. In Game 4, Devers hit an inside-the-park home run, becoming the youngest MLB player (at 20 years, 350 days old) to hit one in the postseason. During the ALDS, Devers batted 4-for-11 (.364) with two home runs and five RBIs.
Devers began the 2018 season as Boston's regular third baseman. He hit his first career grand slam on April 18, off of Tyler Skaggs of the Los Angeles Angels. He hit his second grand slam on June 30, off of Sonny Gray of the New York Yankees. That night, Devers, who went 5-for-5, became the youngest player to hit a grand slam in a Red Sox–Yankees game, at the age of 21 years and 249 days. On July 12, he was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to left shoulder inflammation; he was activated on July 21. Devers was placed back on the disabled list on July 29, due to a left hamstring strain, and was reactivated on August 8, hitting a home run in that evening's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Devers was again placed on the disabled list on August 17, due to his left hamstring. He was sent on a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on August 29, and returned to Boston's active roster on September 4. On September 26, Devers went 4-for-5 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs.
During the regular season, Devers appeared in 121 games, batting .240 with 21 home runs and 66 RBIs. On defense, he led the major leagues in errors, with 24. He also had the lowest fielding percentage among major league third basemen, at .926. He performed much better in the postseason, becoming the fifth player to hit at least three home runs before his 22nd birthday. In Game 5 of the 2018 ALCS Devers hit a game winning 3-run home run in the 6th inning, which would be the deciding factor in sending the Red Sox to the World Series. In Game 4 of the World Series in 2018, Devers became the youngest player with a go-ahead RBI in 9th or later of a World Series game since Edgar Renteria's walk-off single in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. His RBI and defensive skills helped the Red Sox win that game. After Game 5, the Red Sox won the series, giving Devers his first championship title.
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