ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Boston Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers after failing to find a better solution on the trade market.
Devers will join the Red Sox in Seattle on Monday and make his major league debut against the Mariners on Tuesday, Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said after a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Devers hit .368 with two home runs and four RBIs in 10 games with Triple-A Pawtucket after batting .300 with 18 homers in 77 games at Double-A Portland.
The Red Sox have gotten little production from third this season. They had hoped for a bounce back from Pablo Sandoval, but they cut bait with Kung Fu Panda by releasing him last week. Dombrowski said Boston has explored a trade to upgrade the position, and rumors connected the team to slugger Todd Frazier before the New York Yankees acquired him from the Chicago White Sox last week.
After evaluating what remained, Dombrowski decided to give one of baseball’s best prospects a shot.
“We think he gives us as good a chance as anybody that we’ve had a chance to acquire at third base,” Dombrowski said.
Dombrowski and manager John Farrell said Devers will play third when the Red Sox face right-handed pitchers and will bat in the bottom part of the lineup to minimize the pressure on the touted youngster.
“He thinks he is ready to handle it, and so we figure we’ll give him the challenge,” Dombrowski said.
Devers signed with the Red Sox as a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic and quickly became one of the game’s top hitting prospects. He spent each of the last two spring trainings in big league camp, and his brief stint with Pawtucket was intended to serve as final preparation for his promotion to the big club.
“Our people just say that he continues to handle the challenges that are handed to him,” Dombrowski said. “Our biggest concern with him has been if we brought him up and he struggles, which a lot of guys do, how would he handle it? And our people feel he would handle it well at this point. We’re ready to tackle that next step.”
Right-handed pitcher Kyle Martin was sent down to Pawtucket in a corresponding roster move.