July 2, 2013 at 10:53 AM
ESPN Deportes' Dionisio Soldevila and MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reported on Twitter that the Sox have agreed to terms with 16-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers out of the Dominican Republic on a $1.5 million deal.
Devers is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound left-handed batter and right-handed thrower whose biggest strength is his bat. Baseball America credits him as being the third-ranked player available in this pool of international free agents, with his quick bat speed and compact swing helping make him "the most advanced left-handed hitter on the marker."
Defensively, Devers is more of a question mark. As he gets older and fills out, his power is expected to benefit while his defense and running could take a hit. If he can't keep his "round body type in check," as BA put it, a move across the diamond to first may be necessary.
The Red Sox have also been linked to a number of other international youngsters, including Venezuelan outfielder Freddy Rodriguez, Venezuelan southpaws Emmanuel DeJesus and Jonathan Diaz, and Dominican outfielder Yohan Aybar, who turns 16 on Wednesday.
Devers's reported bonus represents a significant chunk of the nearly $3.2 million — a figure reported by BA — the Red Sox are allotted to use on international free agents this year.
Photo credit: scoutingbaseball.com.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.