SEATTLE -- As Rafael Devers flew from Boston to Seattle to start his Major League career, the 3,000-mile journey felt like it would never end.Once it finally did, Devers quickly put on his Red Sox uniform with the Number 11 on the back. He then met with the media in
SEATTLE -- As Rafael Devers flew from Boston to Seattle to start his Major League career, the 3,000-mile journey felt like it would never end.
Once it finally did, Devers quickly put on his Red Sox uniform with the Number 11 on the back. He then met with the media in the dugout and took batting practice at Safeco Field on Monday.
"You can imagine how happy I felt when I heard the news," Devers said through interpreter Daveson Perez. "It's something that I've dreamed about for a long time and I'm really happy. I just wanted to get here so bad. I didn't even fall asleep on the plane. I was just so excited to get here."
• What to expect from Devers
Monday was a day for Devers -- the No. 4 prospect in the game, according to MLBPipeline.com -- to get acclimated.
Tuesday, he will start at third base and try to begin giving the Red Sox the production they've lacked at third base this season.
The 20-year-old will try to avoid putting too much on himself too soon.
"No pressure," Devers said. "Like I said before, it's the same baseball for me, and I'm just going to play with the same fun that I've always played it with. The organization has basically just told me to have the same fun playing baseball as I've always had, and that's just what I intend to do and how I approach the game."
Red Sox manager John Farrell will try to keep pressure off the lefty-swinging Devers by batting him in the bottom-third of the order in Tuesday's debut against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
"Of course, I admire him because he's a pitcher who has won Cy Youngs before. To be able to face him and watch him pitch will be an awesome experience," Devers said.
Everyone around the Red Sox is looking forward to seeing how Devers will respond to his first exposure in the Major Leagues.
"We're looking forward to a young, exciting prospect joining this team," said Farrell. "We'll probably play him against right-handers initially, ease him in against some left-handers where you feel like the matchup is there. But this is a guy who's got a lot of bat potential and we'll take the production he provides us. We also recognize his age and his experience level, there's going to be some ups and downs along the way and that will be totally expected."
The Red Sox have had experience breaking in top prospects in recent years. Xander Bogaerts came up as a 20-year-old in 2013. Mookie Betts was 21 when he arrived in '14. Last season, Andrew Benintendi was promoted less than two years after being drafted. Yoan Moncada, the big chip the Red Sox used to get Chris Sale, was promoted to Boston last September.
"I think you go in with a plan and you communicate that with them so they understand," said Farrell.
You don't need much more than a stat sheet to see what Devers (.311/.377/.578 in the Minors this season) is capable of. But his ability to handle his defensive responsibilities will have added importance as he begins his career with the Red Sox.
"The daily practice at it has been what's helped me so far. I know that I'm going to make errors," Devers said. "Errors are a part of the game. But the daily work that I've been putting in has led to better results each time that I've gone out."
Devers vows that he won't let up.
"For me, the work is never done. I just want to learn how to be a superstar third baseman," Devers said. "Everyone tells me the only way to do that is through constant work, just like when you're hitting, you have to do constant work. They told me daily work at third base is going to make a difference, make me the superstar I want to be."
Perhaps so he can expend all his energy on his acclimation, Devers advised his parents not to join him in Seattle.
"The first people I called was my mom and my dad," said Devers. "And my dad got so excited that the first thing he said was, 'I'm booking a plane to go watch you play right now.' I told him hang on. When we're in Boston we can work that out."
The Red Sox return to Fenway Park on Friday night against the Royals.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.