On Being Wrong: Rafael Devers Was Ready

One of my favorite TV characters is Doctor Perry Cox from Scrubs. An acerbic and gifted healer, he was overshadowed by Doctor Gregory House from House, M.D., as well as by the inherent goofiness of Bill Lawrence’s sitcom-set-in-a-hospital. But Dr. Cox will live on forever in my memory, thanks to this earworm:

Every single time Rafael Devers steps to the plate, I hear that jingle rattle its chains within

the recesses of my brain because I was wrong about Devers. I was convinced that a pennant race was no place for a 20-year old. I was sure he needed more time in the minor leagues and that, at most, he should get a September call-up to sit on the bench and be exposed to the atmosphere without being thrust into the limelight.

Well, I was totally wrong. Aroldis Chapman was, too, for challenging Devers with this 103-mph offering:

Top of the 9th, down a run, in Yankee Stadium, against the highest paid closer in the game – a guy who, not coincidentally, closed out multiple games in the World Series less than a year ago. Situations don’t come much more fraught than that, but the situation didn’t faze Devers and he crushed it.

Because of the flotsam, jetsam, and Sandoval the Red Sox deployed at third base for most of the season, Devers’s emergence has been crucial to Boston building a four-and-a-half game lead in the division with 36 games remaining. The team is 17-7 since Devers arrived in the lineup on July 25. Defensively, Devers has been good enough: Pablo Sandoval was awful and Deven Marrero was excellent – Devers has been solidly between those extremes, showing that he is still learning the position at times with four errors.

On top of the solid defense, he’s more than exceeded expectations at the plate. In 112 plate appearances as a major leaguer, Devers has blasted eight homers and four doubles, slashing .312/.373/.613 to go with his 20 homers, 20 doubles, and .311/.377/.578 line in 358 minor league trips to the dish.

He is currently on track to be yet another player in the Red Sox organization with (more than) 30 homers – and 30 doubles on the season. He is thriving in Boston, accomplishing feats that get him mentioned in the same sentence as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Tony Conigliaro. That’s… some nice company to be mentioned in.

So, I was completely wrong. Devers has handled his promotion with the greatest of ease and I am bereft of excuses. I was worried about Devers not being ready and he has demonstrated without a shred of doubt that he’s not just ready – he’s a superstar in the making. The Red Sox have solved their third base problem, emphatically. There’s just one way to feel about this, even having been so very, very wrong:

Featured image courtesy of x-x.us

About David R. McCullough 87 Articles
David R. McCullough is founding editor of SoSH Baseball. He has a B.A. in journalism from Antioch College, where the lack of a football team is proudly proclaimed on shirts sold in the bookstore, and might someday finish his M.A. at Boston University. He lives in the Boston area with a toddler and a very understanding, patient wife.

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