It’s hard to imagine where the Red Sox would be without their young third baseman.
When the Red Sox added Rafael Devers to the Major League roster a few seasons ago, he brought immediate offense, plus power, and an unforgettable energy that spread throughout Red Sox Nation. Since that point, his tenure has been full of inconsistency between defensive lapses and poor at-bats; however 2019 has been a breakout campaign for the young third baseman.
There laughable talks about a potential demotion throughout the fan base after Devers committed 10 errors in his first 31 games and struggled to produce at the plate. As NBC Sports Boston pointed out, he has been one of the best defensive third baseman in all of baseball since that point has only made six errors. As of July 14th, he was trailing only Nolan Arenado for best fielding percentage after the first few games, for best fielding percentage.
Such a vast turnaround has been impressive, and necessary, for the Boston Red Sox, but his body of work will land him firmly in AL MVP conversations. As of July 24th, Rafael Devers ranks accordingly in American League batting statistics:
2nd in Hits (128)
2nd in Runs (80)
3rd in Doubles (30)
3rd in Batting Average (.322)
19th in HR’s (20)
2nd in RBI’s (77)
11th in OBP (.375)
4th in SLG (.564)
4th in OPS (.939)
8th in WAR (3.8)
3rd in Runs Created (79.4)
While the Red Sox corner infielder has planted himself firmly in the American League MVP conversation, he’d join an odd list if he were to win. As we know, Devers was not an All Star in 2019 and would join a list of just ten other players that were not selected to the mid-summer’s classic, but went on to win MVP. It’s uncommon enough that it hasn’t happened since Jimmy Rollins accomplished the feat in 2007.
It would be careless to ignore the fact that Mike Trout is the clear favorite to win MVP this season; however it’s intriguing to mention that Rafael Devers would be the first player in 12 seasons to possibly win MVP and not be selected as an all star. It’s another sign of the truly exceptional season that Devers has had in 2019.