Rafael Devers is an MLB All-Star for the first time in his career, and the Boston Red Sox slugger is earning the respect of other superstars across the league.
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is a big fan of the fellow Dominican Republic native. Speaking to reporters Monday in Denver, Tatis had high praise for Devers.
“He’s a great hitter and totally a great baseball player,” Tatis Jr. said, per MassLive.com's Christopher Smith. “It’s one of those guys that has changed the game, has embraced the game. He’s totally one of the best players right now.”
“We haven’t had much time to talk to each other,” he added. “But I’m definitely looking forward to it. He’s one of those guys that I know we’re going to play together in the World Baseball Classic. And it’s one of those guys that brings the baseball world up in the Dominican Republic. I’m totally looking forward to talking to him a little more.”
Devers was flattered by Tatis' kind words.
“It makes me really excited to hear someone like a superstar like Fernando Tatis Jr. even mention my name,” Devers said through translator Marly Rivera, per MassLive.com's Christopher Smith. “And this [Home Run] Derby and the All-Star Game, we all know is about [Shohei] Ohtani and Tatis. So just the fact that he is saying the name Rafael Devers is very exciting.”
The praise for Devers is well-deserved. The 24-year-old is hitting .282/.350/.564 with 22 homers and 72 RBI through 87 games.
Devers will start at third base and hit fifth for the American League in Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game. His Red Sox teammate Xander Bogaerts will start at shortstop and hit third.