Sitting at the 19th spot of my Boston Red Sox prospects is Rafael Devers. Now, I admit, I have seen an incredibly limited amount of video on this guy and have to base a majority of my opinions on the accounts of scouts I trust, but this guy has the potential to be special. Devers was signed this season at the age of 16 out of the Dominican Republic.
Devers has yet to make his professional debut, but was ranked by Baseball America as the third best international free agent this year, and signed for $1.5 million. He projects as a power-hitting corner infielder, currently working at third, but could likely end up over at first base. He is somewhere between 6-foot and 6-foot-1 and weighing between 190-215 pounds, but he turned 17 late in October, and is expected to bulk up, to what weight depends on if and how much he grows in height. He reportedly grew two inches and added 25 pounds between January and August, so another time will tell whether or not he goes through another growth spurt.
Despite showing up to the Fall Instructional League at the age of 16, he did not look out of place physically. In 2014, he will probably debut in the Dominican Summer League, but could climb as high as Lowell by the end of the season. Early reports state he struggles with pitch recognition, not uncommon for a 16-year-old, so he might struggle in 2014, but don’t let that put a damper on his potential. With Michael Almanzar being selected in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, Devers is left as the only potential first baseman in my top 30, seemingly the lone weakness in the Red Sox’ system.