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Red Sox assistant GM Eddie Romero explains why Rafael Devers is still a ways away from majors

05.16.17 at 1:05 pm ET


Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

For those wanting Rafael Devers to come in and save the day at third base for the Red Sox, it sounds like you’re going to have to wait a while.

Appearing on the Bradfo Sho podcast, Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero offered the reality when it comes to where Devers is in his progression toward becoming a major leaguer.

(18:40) “I don’t know what the plan is for him,” Romero said. “I know he is progressing very well. I think he is where he needs to be. As Dave mentioned last week, and we’ve said in our discussions over the past few days, he’s progressing well. He’s in a good spot. I think [Double-A Portland manager] Carlos Febles and the staff down there has done a great job developing. They know there’s another level to go to Triple-A and then the big league level, so he’s really only two notches away. Maturity. More at-bats. More games for him. And the fact that he’s still refining his approach which is a big thing. Our hitting coach, Lee May, is really emphasizing that with him. We’ve seen some results over the past month or so, or the past two weeks, that are encouraging in that regards where he’s refining his approach. That league knows who he is now, as well. He’s being pitched to difficulty and differently and now it’s his turn to make that adjustment and progress in that.”

Romero also explained that just because Andrew Benintendi made the jump from Double-A to the majors a year ago with some success, the organization isn’t looking at Devers’ situation in the same light.

(20:30) “I agree with that,” said Romero when it was suggested that Benintendi’s scenario was different than Devers because of age and experience. “Benny has played through high school and then he had his two years of college at a major school in probably the best conference of college baseball. Where Raffy comes from the riskiest and hardest to project and the market where he have the least experience before being thrown into professional baseball. We have to remember, he’s still 20 years old. He won’t be 21 until after the season. I know I keep saying it, but he’s in a good place developmentally. There are some things he needs to work on and he knows what those things are and that’s what he’s doing right now.”

So, what is Devers prioritizing?

(21:20) “I think it’s refining the approach,” Romero said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. He’s never been a guy to strikeout that much, but he also hasn’t walked that much. I think that’s one thing that more than walks or strikeouts, handling what pitchers are giving you and making sure you’re swinging at pitches you can do damage with. That’s something, especially at a young age, without that many minor league at-bats, he continues to work on. I think he knows the importance of that and that will only improve his numbers. That will allow to get to his power more. And I think that’s been the area of concentration for him. And I know chatting with him, he’s always working on his defense, as well. Whether it’s positioning, what he can get to with his range and coming in on balls and accuracy of his throws. That’s always on his mind, as well. It’s not always just about the bat.”

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