The Red Sox activated young third baseman Rafael Devers from the 10-day disabled list, who had been sidelined with left shoulder inflammation. He’ll return to the lineup and the field after missing just the minimum ten days. To make room for him on the active roster, the club has elected to ship lefty Bobby Poyner back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
The 2018 season hasn’t been kind to the 21-year-old Devers. Though he impressed in his MLB debut last year with a .344 wOBA and 111 wRC+ across 240 plate appearances, this season has seen Devers’ bat go cold. His .242/.291/.424 slash line has been good for a wRC+ of just 87, though his 14 home runs at least prove that he’s shown some pop. All in all, Devers has still been worth 0.7 fWAR, but the Red Sox will surely be hoping he can deliver closer to his true potential as they try to maintain the majors’ best record in the second half.
That potential certainly is lofty, as Devers made a host of top prospect lists headed into the 2017 season. Notably, Baseball America described him as being “the top power-hitting prospect in the system, a future five- or six-hole hitter with plus power and above-average defense.” While their concerns about his aggressive approach have certainly proven valid so far considering a sub-.300 OBP, the reputation of his bat-to-ball skills suggests that his average is likely to improve as he continues to get more reps at the MLB level.
As for Poyner, he’s been shuttled back and forth between Boston and Pawtucket all season long. At the MLB level, he’s chucked 10 2/3 innings across ten appearances while striking out ten batters against just a single walk. He’s also allowed just a pair of earned runs. In Triple-A, Poyner owns a tidy 2.81 ERA across 25 2/3 innings to go with 9.82 K/9 against 2.81 BB/9. The lefty is a former 14th round pick of the Red Sox from the 2015 draft.