Boston Red Sox minor leaguer Rafael Devers is just 18 but already one of MLB's … – MassLive.com
Dominican Republic native Rafael Devers experienced a rewarding July: He played in the All-Star Futures Game and earned the eighth spot on ESPN minor league expert Keith Law’s midseason MLB Top 50 prospect list.
Yoan Moncada is the talk of the Red Sox minor league system and deservedly so. Boston gave the 20-year-old Cuban the highest signing bonus ($31.5 million) ever given by any MLB organization to an international amateur free agent. (Read about Moncada here).
But Devers, who’s one year and five months younger than Moncada, was ranked three spots ahead of the Cuban phenom on Law’s list.
The left-handed hitting third baseman, who is Moncada’s teammate with Boston’s Low-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, entered Sunday batting .289 with a .320 on-base percentage, .448 slugging percentage, .768 OPS and 35 extra-base hits (10 homers, 24 doubles, one triple) in 86 games (353 at-bats).
“Rafael is a pure middle of the field hitter who does have the ability to pull the ball and does have the ability to go the other way because of his mindset of staying in the middle of the field,” Greenville manager Darren Fenster said by phone. “His talent to get the barrel to the baseball is far advanced for his years.”
Signed by Boston as an international free agent in July 2013, Devers projects to be a power hitter when he’s fully developed. His scouting report on SoxProspects.com states, “Plus-to-better power potential (30 home runs). Present strength allows him to drive the ball to all fields. Will still get stronger. Ball makes a different sound off of his bat. Generates natural backspin and loft. Ball really carries off his bat. Displayed precocious power to all fields immediately, even in the DSL, where he homered to the opposite field in his first professional game.”
His hitting mechanics might be a bit deceiving.
“The mechanics of his swing keeps the barrel through the hitting zone for a very long time so there are times when he might look like he’s off-balance but because he is able to keep the barrel in the zone, he’s able to get the barrel to it and hit a ball hard,” Fenster said.
Devers, who turns 19 on Oct. 24, already stands at 6-feet, 195-pounds.
He put together a very impressive showing last year both with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox and the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
He batted .337/.445/.538/.984 …Read More