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What's next for Rafael Devers, including could he make impact with Red Sox this season?

Ryan Hannable
July 14, 2017 - 5:16 pm

The trickle-down effect of the Red Sox DFA'ing Pablo Sandoval and releasing Jhonny Peralta is top prospect Rafael Devers being promoted from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket. 

It's been a busy week for the 20-year-old as he played in MLB's Futures Game in Miami on Sunday and the Double-A All-Star Game in New Hampshire on Wednesday. Now, he will report to Triple-A Pawtucket, but will not make it to Syracuse in time for Friday's game.

With Double-A, Devers hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski knows he is a special player and just wants him to continue on his development path now that he's in Pawtucket.

"Devers is just a very talented player," he said. "He's a really good player. And I think he's going to be a really, really good player. It's really just development time, to see how he handles the next step. The one thing you know, the further you go up the ladder the more they try to expose your weakness, chasing pitches out of the strike zone. He's actually improved a lot of that in Double A over the last time period.

"[Portland manager] Carlos Febles continues to tell us how much better he's gotten. I think that's important for him. Because when he makes contact the ball jumps off his bat and he's used the whole field which is very good, and I think he'll continue to do that. Just kind of the comfort zone of going up to that next step and see how he handles that and how he feels. Does he continue to perform the same way, or does he let that get to him a little bit more, which can happen in a development stage."

Given the Red Sox' current situation at third base, it was plausible Devers could have gone straight to the big leagues, especially with Andrew Benintendi skipping Triple-A last year, but Dombrowski said give his age, it would be beneficial for him to play in Triple-A.

"Our guys just feel with his age, where he is and what he's come through that it would be beneficial for him to go to Triple-A from a maturity perspective," he said. "Really this year he's been tremendous. But we thought it could be beneficial for him to see Triple-A and see how he adjusts to that."

But could Devers potentially make it to Boston this year? It seems possible, but Dombrowski isn't counting on it.

"I'm not counting Devers at this point," he said. "We again think Rafael Devers is going to be a very, very good player. But I don't want to put it on his back that we're counting on him in a pennant race. He should go to Triple A and play like he's capable of playing and we'll see what takes place at that time."

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