The Boston Red Sox have their new franchise player.
It’s not Mookie Betts, who they failed to extend and ended up trading a couple of years ago.
It’s not Xander Bogaerts, who they lost via free agency just a few weeks ago.
It’s Rafael Devers.
Devers agreed to an 11-year, $331 million contract extension with the Red Sox on Wednesday, a hefty deal that goes in concordance with his youth (26) and talent.
It’s fun to think about how good the Red Sox would be with Betts, Bogaerts, and Devers all under contract, but they at least secured one of them.
It’s not ideal, but it’s something, and fans will take it.
Devers is an All-Star third baseman and a difference-making hitter in MLB.
Stats prove it.
“Rafael Devers leads the American League in total bases over the last four seasons,” Baseball Reference tweeted.
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) January 5, 2023
Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Yordan Alvarez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bogaerts, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Ramirez, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, and other talented stars have played in the junior circuit in the last four seasons.
None of them has more total bases than Devers over that span.
That’s utterly impressive.
Devers is not only powerful, but can hit for average as his career .283 mark suggests, and gets a lot of two-baggers besides his obvious over-the-fence pop.
He has 187 doubles and 139 round-trippers for his career and he is only 26.
The best is yet to come for Devers and the Red Sox, with his pop, plate skills, and contact.
The commitment is massive, but the stats show that he is more than worth it.