Poll: Is Rafael Devers living up to $300 million hype?
With the title stating what it does, there's an important note to add off the top - Rafael Devers' 10-year, $313.5 million dollar contract does not go into effect until next year. The 26-year-old third baseman was still arbitration eligible before signing the massive deal and is making a $17.5 million base salary this season, which effectively made the contract an 11-year pact worth $330mil.
But regardless of the fine print, for all intents and purposes Devers has been a 300-million-dollar-man since putting pen to paper on the largest contract in franchise history last January.
In his first year as the clear cornerstone of the franchise, Devers got off to a slow start at the dish but has caught fire since the beginning of July. He's hitting .338 over his last 39 games and ranks 4th in the AL in both HR (29) and RBI (85).
His full 2023 projections look like this when extrapolated over 162 games - 153 games, 159 hits (.273 avg), 35 doubles, 89 runs, 38 homeruns, 110 RBI.
His defense continues to be a question mark. Early in the season, it appeared as though he'd improved to at worst a league-average third basemen, if not above average. But as the year has worn on, the glove has become less reliable. Devers has been tagged with 15 errors this season, and that's with the league-wide mandate to rule any borderline hit a hit, not an error.
In my mind at least, defense is secondary. You paid the guy for his bat. Let's assume that this is the average season Devers posts over the life of his 10-year deal. He's still a guy just entering his prime, so it's likely bigger years are in store, but you also have to account for production slipping on the backend of the deal.
So, if this is the average year you get from Raffy Devers, is it good enough?