Keith Law of ESPN who is one of baseballs best prospect analysts released his annual list of the top 100 prospects in baseball for the 2016. The list was released in February and it included three Boston Red Sox players in the top 20, Rafael Devers at #7, Yoan Moncada #17, and Andrew Bernintendi at #18. Devers at #7 is the highest rated Red Sox prospect according to Keith Law.
Many Red Sox fans might be shocked that it is Devers who is the best prospect in the system over Cuban prospect Moncada. But may I remind you all that money doesn’t make an unproven player any better. Devers offensive ability has fewer holes than Moncada at this point in their careers.
One of the potential red flags with Devers is his low walk rates, however his high contact ability with potential power outweighs the red flag. Defensively Devers has “great hands” and a “70-grade arm” according to Keith Law. Devers is seen as the potential future third basemen for the Red Sox with all of the struggles that Pablo Sandoval has had. The Sox have had problems finding a long term answer at third base ever since the departure of Wade Boggs in 1992.
Rafael Devers who is only 19 years old is the number 2 third base prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB networks prospect analysts. He came in right behind Joey Gallo who has already been in the majors briefly with an 80 power rating on the 20-80 scouting scale.
At a young age of 18 in 2015 Dever's was a year ahead of schedule to arrive to full-season play according to a MLB scouting report. He only faced one pitcher younger than him in the 2015 season as he posted a .288/.329/.443 stat line in a league that has an average line of .256/.325/.372 and on top of that the average age of a position player in that league is three years older than him.
Devers will play much of the 2016 season in High-A Salem, if he dominates the Carolina league a promotion to Double-A Portland is possible. Even though he is ahead of most players his age do not expect him to tear through the system as he still has much to learn and will need time to continue to develop. There are some questions swirling around whether or not Devers will be at third base for the long run though.
Major League Baseball analysts predict Devers ETA for the majors as 2018, which seems about right as he will need one full season at AAA Pawtucket after the 2016 season before getting called up. As the Red Sox continue to turn out top prospect one after the other it will be interesting to seen if their trend of success will continue.