Rafael Devers may leave you scratching your head sometimes, but when he flashes his potential it's a sight to behold.
During the Red Sox 4-1 win over the Astros Sunday, the 22-year-old slugger made his mark with a terrific defensive play in the bottom of the third inning and a monster solo home run in the top of the fourth.
Glove optional. pic.twitter.com/gPEA1j9frg— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 26, 2019
The barehanded throw not only retired a dangerous hitter in Carlos Correa, but it kept another runner off base and prevented a run from scoring. Devers has had his fair share of terrible throws from third base in his career, so I'm sure Red Sox fans were holding their breath during this one.
Devers had a home run taken away from him Saturday when he launched a ball into Minute Maid Park's roof over right field. It could have cost the Sox a game too after Christian Vazquez tied the score at 3-3 in the ninth inning only for Matt Barnes to blow the save in the bottom half.
The Astros had the bases loaded with no outs when Correa hit a walk-off single, so Houston probably would have won anyway. But you never know, and what turned out as a double for Devers would have been long gone in an outdoor park.
Against Justin Verlander, Devers kept the ball away from the right-field roof by plastering a pitch over the center-field wall. It proved to be the difference in the end after the Astros only managed one run.
The roof ain't getting this one! pic.twitter.com/FFYbTpjjPJ— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 26, 2019
Devers has continued to hit the ball at a career-best pace to start 2019, and the Sox are all the better for it. If he can continue to be a consistent presence in the lineup, it raises the ceiling for a Boston team with more than enough talent to compete for a second consecutive World Series title.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.