BOSTON — He's almost here. Rafael Devers is one step away from the major leagues.
The top third-base prospect has been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, a baseball source with knowledge of the move told CSNNE.com. The promotion is unsurprising because of Devers' success — he just played in the All-Star Futures Game in Miami — and because there's now a clear path for him with Jhonny Peralta and Pablo Sandoval both no longer on Pawtucket's roster.
Devers, 20, hit .300 with a .369 OBP and .575 slugging percentage at Double-A Portland. He hit 18 home runs. As the Red Sox seek to solidify their third-base play, a strong early showing at Pawtucket just might help fast track Devers to the majors, and either way, he could get called up some time this year.
The Red Sox made clear their plan was always to send to Devers to Pawtucket rather than have him skip straight to the big leauges, as Yoan Moncada did last year.
“I think he continues to refine," Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett said in June of what was keeping Devers at Double-A. "I think his approach at the plate and kind of the maturity of his game and just the experience that he’s had — he’s moved so quickly, being a 20-year-old in Double-A, and one of the youngest players in that league. And having that type of success he’s had offensively is awesome.
“Yet at the same time, you still do see some inconsistencies. They’re not unexpected of a young player like him at the plate. ... He obviously got off to a really hot start, had a great first month — really almost two months or a month and a half. And then, the league started to adjust him. I mean, they're pitching to him like they should be pitching to him. Which is pretty tough.
“That kind of forced him to make some adjustments. So I think in that sense, it’s been a good experience for him as the league has gotten to know him better. That, I think, always is a great test for a player. … He’s in the process of doing that. I think we’re very happy with the overall progress that he’s made on both sides of the ball, and he’s in a good place. I think he’s still in a place where he’s challenged, but I think he’s certainly done a lot of really good things."