The international signing frenzy has begun, and the Boston Red Sox have secured two of MLB.com’s top 30 prospects, including no. 6 ranked Rafael Devers.
The 16 -year-old third base prospect is widely considered the best left-handed bat available in the international market. Scouts have been impressed with his pitch recognition and patience at the plate. While watching some tape on Devers, I worry a bit on the big stride he takes, but impressed by his ability to repeat the motion on every pitch and how quickly he gets the bat through the zone.
He has also shown signs that he is working on his stride, as it is much less busy at recent workouts than early in the year. He projects as a guy who can have a really good batting average but league-average power.
His defense is a bit of a question, and while he will start at third base, he will likely have to move off the position. There has been some mention of him moving to second in the future, as well as comparisons to New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, but I think the most realistic fit for him long-term will end up being out in left field.
The Red Sox also secured the 24th ranked international prospect in lefty pitcher Emmanuel DeJesus. He has a good pitcher’s body at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, but has proven to be inconsistent when facing other high-level international prospects. He will begin as a starter in the Sox system, but if he makes it to the big club, it will likely be in a bullpen role.
Add these two guys to the great draft the Red Sox had this year, and the Sox will be one of those rare teams that has a top-flight big league roster and a top 10, maybe even top-5 farm system. I look forward to seeing the offseason prospect rankings, and despite Allen Webster, Jose Iglesias, and potentially Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts losing prospect status, I think the Red Sox system will still rank near the top of baseball.