The St. Louis Cardinals promoted their star outfield prospect on Tuesday. At the same time, the Boston Red Sox promoted their third base prospect. Both now go head-to-head for prospect supremacy.
St. Louis Cardinals fans have been honking for a Harrison Bader promotion for a while now and their dreams came true on Tuesday, July 25. Bader, who had been making a massive name for himself in AAA, joined the Cardinals and was the pivotal player in the decisive win.
At the exact same time, the Boston Red Sox, now down a third baseman after the DFA of Pablo Sandoval, promoted their third base prospect Rafael Devers. Like Bader, Devers was making a strong name for himself in AAA and Red Sox fans were joining in the shouts for a prospect promotion. Their dreams came true on Tuesday as well.
Now that both of these top-of-the-organization prospects have eclipsed the majors, the question immediately surfaces on whether Bader or Devers will make the largest impact for his respective organization? More on that later.
Before getting to the numbers related to impact, let’s put these players side-by-side.
Rafael Devers is a 20-year-old Dominican third baseman who was picked by Boston in 2014 in the international draft at the young age of 17. Harrison Bader is a 23-year-old centerfielder from Bronxville, NY who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 2015 amateur draft.
Here’s a look at Devers’ offensive numbers in his four years of service to Boston (rookie status still intact):
|2014||17||BOS-min||Rk,FRk||70||302||261||47||84||17||5||7||57||5||1||35||50||.322||.404||.506||.910||132||4||3||0||3||1||RES,RSX · GULF,DOSL|
|2015||18||BOS-min||A,FgW||128||555||512||78||147||41||1||11||76||3||2||28||92||.287||.330||.436||.766||223||15||8||1||6||0||GRV,ESC · SALL,DOWL|
|2016||19||BOS-min||A+,FgW||153||624||577||70||160||36||8||11||75||18||6||44||107||.277||.329||.425||.753||245||7||1||0||2||2||SAL,ESC · CARL,DOWL|
|2017||20||BOS-min||AA,AAA||86||358||322||54||100||20||3||20||60||0||3||34||63||.311||.377||.578||.955||186||8||1||0||1||4||PRT,PAW · EL,IL|
|162 Game Avg.||162||972||648||162||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||324||162||.000||.333||.000||.333||1||0||162||0||0||0||0|
Going 0-for-4 with two walks and one strikeout in his debut, Devers can certainly contribute to the Red Sox.
Here’s a look at Bader’s offensive numbers in his three years of service to St. Louis (rookie status still intact):
|2015||21||STL-min||A,A-||61||258||235||40||73||13||2||11||32||17||6||15||49||.311||.368||.523||.892||123||5||7||0||1||0||PEO,SCS · MIDW,NYPL|
|2016||22||STL-min||AA,AAA,Fal||152||603||544||82||148||21||6||21||74||17||15||41||145||.272||.337||.449||.785||244||3||14||0||4||0||SPD,MEM,GLN · TL,PCL,AZFL|
|2017||23||STL-min||AAA||97||381||350||62||104||18||1||19||48||9||6||23||90||.297||.354||.517||.871||181||3||8||0||0||0||MEM · PCL|
|162 Game Avg.||162||648||648||162||162||162||0||0||0||0||0||0||162||.250||.250||.500||.750||89||324||0||0||0||0||0|
Going 1-for-4 with one strikeout and one double in his debut, Bader is destined to make an impact on the St. Louis Cardinals.
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Let’s look at defense. Devers faced six put-out chances in his first game with Boston. In these he achieved a perfect score with six assists. He played 12.2 innings in his first game and showed a range factor per nine innings (RF/9) of 4.26 (Sandoval, by the way, held a RF/9 in his 10 years at third of 2.49).
Sticking with defense, Bader appeared in center field in all nine innings of Tuesday’s game. In these nine, Bader faced three changes for put-outs. He recorded a perfect score of three in these chances.
Moreover, Bader showed an RF/9 of 3.0. His on-team competition is Dexter Fowler (2.14 RF/9 for the Cards in 631.1 innings), Tommy Pham (2.13 RF/9 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 660 innings), and Randal Grichuk (2.27 RF/9 for the Cards in 1,289.1 innings). Bader’s RF/9 is better than other Cardinals but is from a very small sample size.
To check fan impressions, we sent a poll through Twitter (see below):
With 114 fans participating, Harrison Bader received 65 percent of the votes to Devers’ 35 percent. Fans believe that Bader will impact more than Devers and this seems to be supported by the numbers from their respective debuts.
If we were looking at their AAA numbers (see them above), I feel the results of the poll would be different. That said, a St. Louis Cardinals outfield that includes Bader (in my opinion) will have greater impact than the Red Sox infield including Devers.
Oh, and by the way, I wrote recently about the possibility of the Cardinals trading players to the Red Sox and asking for Devers in return. While it seems very unlikely, wouldn’t it be great if the Cardinals were able to land the impact of both Bader and Devers in the same uniform?
The trade deadline is around the corner and if the St. Louis Cardinals do nothing, can’t we find solace in the addition of Bader? Wouldn’t an impact of 65 percent be similar enough to an impact trade? Time will certainly tell.