Red Sox slugging prospect Rafael Devers gets promoted to Gulf Coast League

July 02, 2014 - 7:03 pm
Rafael Devers went 0-for-3 for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox on Wednesday, in what amounted to his best day of the year for reasons that had nothing to do with the contest in which he played. According to an industry source, the 17-year-old -- the jewel of the Red Sox' 2013 international amateur free agent class -- will report to Fort Myers on Thursday to join the Red Sox' Rookie Level Gulf Coast League affiliate. While the GCL Sox represent the lowest rung of the minor league ladder in the States, the fact that Devers is advancing to that level of competition before the end of his first pro season speaks volumes about how impressive he's been. In 28 games, the third baseman hit .337 with a .445 OBP and .538 slugging mark with a dozen extra-base hits (six doubles, three triples, three homers), 21 walks and 20 strikeouts. All but one of those extra-base hits came for the left-handed hitting Devers against right-handed pitching, which he pulverized for a .372/.467/.593 line. In advancing to the GCL, Devers is moving more aggressively than did Xander Bogaerts and Manuel Margot, among other recent top international amateur prospects. But Devers' offensive dominance (albeit as a corner player -- unlike Bogaerts and Margot, who were athletic up-the-middle players) separated him from virtually all offensive performers for the Sox' DSL affiliate in recent years. Devers' middle-of-the-order potential gives him as high a ceiling as virtually any position player in the Red Sox system, even though he remains years away from the big leagues.