Young talent emerges in 2019
The 2019 season may not have gone to plan for most members of the Boston Red Sox. But it’s gone even better for Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts than either could have imagined. In a season that had the possibility of producing the first back-to-back World Series champions since the 1998-2000 Yankees, both the Red Sox starting pitching and bullpen alike struggled to hold leads throughout most of 2019. Underneath the Sox obvious and frustrating consistency issues lay Devers and Bogaerts. In their age 22 and 26 years, both accomplished feats never seen before in MLB and franchise history.
Consistency is key
Devers and Bogaerts have been incomprehensibly consistent in 2019. In the full 162 games the Sox have played, Devers and Bogey are both hitting over .300 (.311 and .309, respectively). In addition, each boasts a wOBA over .350 (.377 and .390). Besides a slow end to the year, Devers has been very dependable during 2019. Along with career highs in OBP (.361), SLG (.555), and wRC+ (132), Devers has almost doubled his RBI total from 2018. In a one year span, Devers’ BA has jumped almost a full .100. He has also been able to increase his power and defensive abilities in 2019. In addition, Bogaerts has also seen career highs in OBP (.384), HR (33), and wRC+ (141). With these two players bolstering the Red Sox already superior offense, the future looks bright in Boston. Even in spite of the looming free agency decisions in the coming years.
“First teammates in MLB history…”
“Devers and Bogaerts” has been prone to proceed this phrase in most articles written in recent months. Along with being the first teammates in MLB history to each record 50 doubles and 30 home runs in a year, these young affiliates have also been able to reach individual mile markers in 2019. To accompany a career-high in home runs, Bogaerts became the first AL shortstop to record a 30 HR/100 RBI season since Miguel Tejada in 2004. In addition, Devers recently broke the record for most home runs in a season by a Red Sox third baseman. On September 21st, Devers, hitting his 31st home run of 2019, surpassed the benchmark (30) set by Butch Hobson in 1977.
2019 was disappointing, but it’s a season both Bogaerts and Devers will never take for granted
Although most fans would have hoped for the 2019 season to end differently, it isn’t one that should go unnoticed. All the media attention was focused on the pitching woes. During this, fans were able to watch these young players create a bright future for the franchise. During what seemed to be an unlikely year, both Devers and Bogaerts were able to show their capabilities. Similarly to Betts’ 2016 season, their 2019 performances proved that Bogaerts and Devers have the ability to be MVP-caliber players. And despite the possibility of losing both Betts and J.D Martinez this offseason, Sox fans should be thrilled with this new duo sprouting within the green walls of Fenway.
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