Red Sox Prospect Rafael Devers Just Needs To Hit The Breaking Ball Before Going To Boston
Rafael Devers played in his 1st game at McCoy Stadium tonight in a Paw Sox 9-8 win over the Mud Hens. In 3 at bats, he had an infield single and struck out twice. He also walked and scored 2 runs for the Paw Sox. The second run scored by Devers was what put the Paw Sox ahead for good in the 7th inning.
Before the game, Devers talked through an interpreter about how one of the adjustments he has had to make is being able to hit the breaking ball. In his 1st game, he went 4 for 4 at the plate. He saw a lot of fastballs. In his 2nd game, he saw a lot of breaking balls. That resulted in an 0 for 4 game at the plate.
Tonight, Devers was able to have a long at bat in the 7th inning before he worked a lead off walk. That was following a 9 pitch at bat that he had in Syracuse over the weekend during his 2nd game with the Paw Sox.
Devers Making Adjustments At AAA
After the game, Paw Sox manager Kevin Boles had a few comments regarding Devers and his adjustments to AAA.
“He’s doing well. He had a great start to the first game in Syracuse. Watching him defensively, hes got real good action. [He] has arm strength, quality footwork. Offensively, you can see the hand speed there.”
Since he is such a young player with so much upside, there is no reason to push him to do something that could mess with him. Boles agrees with that too. At the Age of 20, Devers has been very impressive so far with what he can do. The Red Sox just need to let him take time and play the game like how he know. If they do that, he will eventually be ready to play at the major league level.
“At this, lets not make any changes that are unnecessary. Lets see what we get. The game will tell you what adjustments he needs to make.”
During his pre-game press conference, he said through an interpreter that he needs to make the adjustments to hitting the breaking balls. During his 4 for 4 performance in his first game, he saw a lot of fastballs. The pitchers made the adjustments in his second game and they threw a lot of breaking balls.
“He’s able to foul off pitchers pitches and extend at bats. Hopefully he can be a productive out and a tough out. It’s very impressive for a young hitter” said Kevin Boles Regarding Devers
Even though he has only appeared in 3 games at the AAA level, he has been able to at least extend at bats when facing breaking balls. If he is able to recognize breaking balls and make solid contact, Devers will be able to succeed in Boston. If he was absolutely lost when he got a breaking ball, then there would be more of a problem.
Players in the past like Lars Anderson or Willy Mo Pena would not be able to hit a breaking ball at all. Devers is already able to extend at bats when facing a breaking ball. It’s only a matter of time before he is able to get hits on the breaking ball. The Red Sox need to be aware of this. They can’t call him up before that time or it could mess with him. Once he is able to do that, they should call him up. But they need to wait for that. It’s only a matter of time before he is able to make solid contact on the breaking balls.