clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Daily Red Sox Links: Rafael Devers is quietly off to a nice start

Its early. I know. But Devers is hitting quite well through the first week of the season. Plus David Price and the home opener, bad baserunning and Red Sox prospects

Boston Red Sox v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

After Rafael Devers lit the world on fire when he debuted with the Boston Red Sox last summer, expectations began building. The now 21-year-old third baseman was heralded as a savior for a team that struggled to score runs and hit for power. In 240 plate appearances, he slashed .284/.338/.482 with an OPS+ of 112, 10 home runs, 24 extra-base hits and 1.3 bWAR.

Such a strong start to what will hopefully be a long and productive career had many projecting big things for Devers this season. Depending on which projection system you prefer, Devers was at worst going to be an above average hitter or, at best, the next Boston basher of 30 homers.

Now that the season has actually started, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez have stolen the headlines, with Bogaerts hitting a blistering .357/.357/.643 with six extra-base hits and an OPS+ of 173, while Ramirez has had some clutch knocks of his own while hitting north of .300. Betts has similarly been excellent (171 OPS+).

But lost in all of this is that Devers has been perfectly solid to start the season. Sure, he hasn’t gone out and ripped dingers left and right, but he’s still making solid contact and getting on base at a decent clip. He has made hard contact on 66.7 percent of his batted balls and hit 38.9 percent on a line. In addition, he currently sitting at an OPS+ of 124 while leading the team in RBI. His triple slash (.318/.348/.455) doesn’t have the pop you might expect, but let’s remember that J.D. Martinez is currently slugging .250. There’s plenty of time for the power to enter the equation.

Of course, you could use that same argument to say there’s plenty of time for regression to set in. Therein lies the problem with small sample sizes. But despite that very small sample size (23 plate appearances), Devers has not let the expectations get to him in the (very) early going. If he can string together one, two, three, four or more of those small sample sizes, the qualifying will no longer be required. We’ll just be able to say he’s having a good season.

It’s Opening Day at Fenway Park and David Price is ready to get things started. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)

Small sample sizes be damned, here’s an examination of the Red Sox offense. (Cam Ellis; BP Boston)

The first week has been pretty positive for the Red Sox. (Steve Buckley; Boston Herald)

The best prospects in the Red Sox system will be playing all over the place. (Jim Callis;

Bad baserunning has been a theme in the early going for the Sox. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)