Update: 1:01 pm: MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez has confirmed Dionisio Soldevila's initial report of Devers' signing.
Update 10:44 am: Devers is still expected to sign with Boston, but Baseball America's Ben Badler tweeted out that he's been "told [Devers] has not signed yet." We'll keep you posted if there are any updates on Devers' status.
The July 2nd signing period kicked off this morning at 9 am eastern, and the Red Sox wasted no time signing a player they've been targeting for much of 2013. Rafael Devers, a 16-year-old Dominican-born left-handed hitter, was signed by Boston for $1.5 million, according to ESPN Deportes' Dionisio Soldevila.
Devers is a third base prospect who is far more advanced as a hitter than you would think given his youth, as Scout.com's Kiley McDaniel pointed out back in March:
Devers' power is fringy right now but he can hit the ball with authority to all fields and his power already shows up in game situations. This type of power ages well and while he doesn't have physical projection, Devers is young enough that he'll add some good weight and drop some bad weight.
Baseball America's Ben Badler, like McDaniel, also pegged Devers to the Red Sox, while ranking Devers the #3 international prospect available:
Devers is an advanced hitter with a sound swing who has produced in games. The Red Sox have targeted players who meet that description in recent years, including shortstops Tzu-Wei Lin and Wendell Rijo last year, although their secondary skills and athleticism make them very different players.
The Red Sox had the seventh-most money to spend on the international market, with $3,179,900 total to work with. Spending $1.5 million on one player cuts into that budget significantly, but, at the same time, they secured one of the top available talents and still have space left over to work with thanks to last year's dismal record boosting their budget. Devers is obviously a long, long way from being in the prospect mix, as he'll spend the next couple of seasons in the summer leagues before even making his way to either the GCL or the New York-Penn, but in a few years' time, he could very well be a name that prospect-savvy Red Sox fans know.
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