With the Yankees coming into Boston, mid-August and both teams looking primed for the playoffs, the rivalry is looking like it’s officially back… Finally. OK, let’s not get too carried away, we most likely won’t see players charging the mound, getting their face shoved in by a catcher’s glove, or have benches clearing brawls, but at least both teams are competitive at the same time again. This is the second weekend in a row that the Sox and Yanks are playing a weekend series. Last weekend, the Red Sox took 2 out of 3 and hope to look to win this series as well.
With the Yanks coming into town, we can all look back to the trade deadline and really be thankful that the Sox passed on Todd Frazier. In a previous article, I wrote about how the Sox shouldn’t make the move for Frazier (click here for the link). There was some disappointment in Boston that the Yankees acquired him, but the entire Sox organization and fanbase can be grateful that Dombrowski didn’t make the trade, especially with the asking price being so high from the White Sox.
Why be happy about not trading for Frazier? Because the Sox made two moves that weren’t huge, but have made all the difference since the deadline: Acquiring Eduardo Nunez from the Giants and promoting Rafael Devers.
The Yankees can have their home town kid. I mean Frazier is only hitting .207 with 19 HRs and 54 RBIs. Oh yeah, he’s also struck out 95 times in 364 at-bats. No thanks. If you’re only hitting .207 and striking out at the clip that Frazier is, you’d want to see more production in other areas, and the home runs aren’t coming as often for The Toddfather as they had been in the previous years.
Devy Dingers has hit .357 with 7 Rafi Bombs, 15 RBIs and carries an OPS of 1.082 since his promotion prior to the trade deadline. Don’t forget this kid is just 20-years-old. Unbelievable, I know. The most notable Devers moment came last weekend, when the kid came up to the plate against Aroldis Chapman with the Sox down 2-1 in the 9th. We all know how dominant Chapman is, especially against lefties. So what does Devers do? He takes a 103 MPH fastball and hits it 423 feet the opposite way for a home run. What made that so special was the fact that Chapman had only given up one previous home run to a lefty… IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER. The kid has come up and outperformed all expectations the Sox had of him. After he torched AA in Portland, he spent a limited amount of time in AAA, Pawtucket, where he continued his hot hitting, then got the call up to the show, probably much sooner than many expected. But the 20-year-old has lifted the once struggling Red Sox offense, adding a whole other dynamic to the order every day.
When Todd Frazier comes up to the dish, I’m surprised if he DOESN’T strike out. When Rafael Devers walks up to the plate, I’m expecting something great to happen. The Yankees can go ahead and send a package of prospects to the White Sox for Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle, I was perfectly fine with that. Because with all the rumors surrounding the Red Sox needing to trade for a third baseman to be serious contenders after Sandoval was worse than a friggin train wreck, Dombrowski surprised all of us by not overpaying a bunch of prospects for something big. Instead, he called up the young stud Devers and he entered the MLB by making the entire league feel his wrath. He has a smooth swing, and puts everything he has into it, while at the same time it looks effortless for the kid. What looks to be a routine pop up, turns into Devers trotting around the bases because the ball actually leaves the yard, as it just keeps on carrying in the air. Opposing pitchers, you need to fear Devers, and know he doesn’t fear you, just ask Aroldis Chapman.
I’m speaking for most, if not all of Red Sox Nation when I say this: Thank you to the New York Yankees for acquiring Todd Frazier so the Red Sox wouldn’t make the move. The big difference between Frazier and Devers, come October with games on the line, Frazier will be striking out and grounding into triple plays, while Devers will be mashing balls out of the park with ease and turning triple plays. This kid has a bright future ahead of him and is far living passed his potential already.
Here’s Devers’ turning a triple play:
And then here’s Frazier grounding into one:
Follow Drew Tanguay on Twitter: @DTang10