BOSTON (CBS) — With Rafael Devers set to make his Major League debut on Tuesday night, it’s a good time to take a trip down memory lane and see how other top Red Sox prospects fared in their first days as a big leaguer.
Yoan Moncada: September 2, 2016
Boston’s top prospect made his debut as a late-inning replacement in a 16-2 Red Sox win in Oakland. He made a pair of plate appearances, drawing a walk in his first at-bat and later scored. He struck out in his second at-bat and struggled during his brief stint in the majors, hitting just .211 with 12 strikeouts in 20 plate appearances.
The phenom was traded to the White Sox that following offseason for lefty ace Chris Sale.
Andrew Benintendi: August 2, 2016
Like Moncada, Benintendi broke into the majors in 2016. Unlike Moncada, Benintendi was there to stay.
Benny Baseball made his Major League debut by pinch-hitting for Bryce Brentz in the seventh inning of a 5-4 Boston loss. He grounded out to second in his first at-bat, and struck out looking to end the game in his second.
Benintendi got his first start the following night, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles in a 3-1 Red Sox loss. He went on to hit .295 with a pair of homers, 10 doubles, 14 RBI and 15 runs scored, and not to be forgotten, one spectacular catch. He earned a spot on Boston’s postseason roster, going 3-for-9 with a homer, a double and three RBI in the Red Sox’ three-game loss to the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS.
Mookie Betts: June 29, 2014
A 21-year-old Betts made his debut in a pretty big setting: On Sunday night baseball against the Yankees in New York. To add a little more pressure, his parents and fiancée were in the stands.
Mookie grounded into a double play in his first at-bat before singling in the fourth inning for his first career hit. He didn’t stay on the base paths for long, as he was promptly caught stealing. He finished his debut 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored as Boston went on to win 8-5.
Xander Bogaerts: August 20, 2013
Bogaerts joined Boston in the thick of a pennant race, making his debut against the Giants in San Francisco. He got the start at shortstop and went 0-for-3 at the plate before being taken out after the sixth inning as part of a double switch (yes, John Farrell understood National League rules that evening).
He collected his first hit four nights later in Los Angeles against the Dogders, hitting a ninth-inning single in a 4-2 Boston win. Bogaerts was on the postseason roster as the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series, replacing Will Middlebrooks at third base late in Boston’s series win against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jackie Bradley Jr.: April 1, 2013
After a red-hot spring, JBJ earned himself a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster despite never playing at the Triple-A level. He debuted against the Yankees in New York, going 0-for-2 with three walks, two runs scored and an RBI in an 8-2 Red Sox victory.
While showing off his wonderful defense, Bradley Jr. struggled at the plate and was sent down to Triple-A in mid-April. He played 80 games for Pawtucket and 37 for Boston that season, hitting just .189 in the majors, and was not on the Red Sox postseason roster.
Will Middlebrooks: May 2, 2012
The third baseman went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in his debut, paving the way for Kevin Youkilis’ departure from the team. He hit his first career homer four nights later, a grand slam in a 17-inning, 9-6 Boston loss to the Orioles, and followed that up with two more round-trippers the following night. He hit .288 with 15 homers his rookie season before a broken bone in his right hand ended his campaign.
Jose Iglesias: May 8, 2011
The slick-fielding prospect was used mostly for his glove when he first debuted in 2011, first as a defensive replacement for Jed Lowrie in the ninth inning of a 9-5 win over the Twins in Minnesota. He scored the game-winning run for Boston the following night as a pinch-running in the 11th inning. He made his first MLB start on May 11, but didn’t record his first major league hit until his second call-up with a single on September 15.
Iglesias was traded to the Detroit Tigers in a three-team deal at the 2013 deadline that landed pitcher Jake Peavy in Boston.
Jacoby Ellsbury: June 30, 2007
Ellsbury took over for an injured Coco Crisp and went 1-for-4 in his debut, a loss to the Rangers at Fenway Park. He collected his first hit in his second at-bat, showing off his blazing speed with an infield single to short, and hit .353 the rest of the season. He played a major role in Boston’s World Series victory that year, and won everyone free tacos with a stolen base in Game 2 of the Red Sox’ sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
Dustin Pedroia: August 22, 2006
The long-time Boston second baseman collected his first hit in his debut (batting ninth and playing shortstop), with a fourth-inning single in a 4-3 Boston loss to the Angels out west. He hit just .191 in 31 games that season, but won the Rookie of the Year award in 2007 after hitting .317 with 39 doubles and 86 runs scored.
Jon Lester: June 10, 2006
Called up after a rash of injuries hit the Boston rotation, lefty Jon Lester earned a no decision in his first start in the majors, allowing three earned runs off of five hits and four walks while striking out four in 4.1 innings against the Texas Rangers. He won each of his next three starts and ended up going 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA before being diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma late in the season. He underwent treatment and returned to the Red Sox rotation in 2007, and was the winning pitcher in Boston’s clinching win over the Rockies in the World Series, the first of two rings he’d win during his career in Boston.
Kevin Youkilis: May 15, 2004
“The Greek God Of Walks” was called up when Bill Mueller landed on the disabled list, and had himself one heck of a debut. Youk went 2-for-4 in a 4-0 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto, and with his parents in the stands, he clubbed a homer in his second at-bat.
He initially received the silent treatment from teammates when he returned to the dugout, before being bombarded when he made his way to the end of the bench.
Youkilis was on Boston’s World Series roster in 2004 but did not play in their four-game sweep of the Cardinals.
Hanley Ramirez: September 20, 2005
Boston’s top prospect at the time, Hanley made his debut as a defensive replacement in a 15-2 Red Sox win against the Rays (then known as the Devil Rays). He struck out in his first career at-bat, and struck out again in his only other at-bat for Boston that season.
That offseason, the Red Sox shipped Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez to the Florida Marlins in a blockbuster deal that landed Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell in Boston.
Jonathan Papelbon: July 31, 2005
The 24-year-old flamethrower was drawing comparisons to Roger Clemens when he was first called up, and tossed 5.1 innings of two-run ball — striking out seven — in his debut against the Twins at Fenway Park. He earned a no decision that day and after making two more starts, was moved to the bullpen. He was slotted in as a starter at the beginning of the 2006 season, but became a dominant closer after taking over for 2004 World Series hero Keith Foulke.
Brian Rose: July 25, 1997
The once-promising pitching prospect from New Bedford debuted at the age of 21, earning a spot start for the Red Sox. He lasted just three innings and got a no decision in an 8-5 loss to the Angels at Fenway, but went on to win the International League Pitcher of the Year award that season.
After going 11-15 in his four seasons with the Red Sox, Rose was part of a trade package to the Rockies in 2000 that brought starter Rolando Arrojo and second baseman Mike Lansing to Boston.
Nomar Garciaparra: August 31, 1996
NOOOMAAHHHH debuted as a defensive replacement in a late August loss to the A’s in Oakland, going 0-for-1 at the plate. He got his first career hit the following night with a solo homer in the fourth inning, one of three hits for Garciappara that evening.
Nomar hit .241 with four home runs and 16 RBI in that brief stint, and his sweet swing left little doubt that he was Boston’s shortstop of the future.
Mo Vaughn: June 27, 1991
Boston’s first-round pick in 1987, Vaughn went 0-for-2 in his debut, striking out and drawing a walk in a 8-0 loss to the Yankees at Fenway.
“The Hit Dog” logged his first of 1,620 career hits (1,165 of which came with the Red Sox) with a single the following night in a Boston win over Baltimore.
Ellis Burks: April 30, 1987
Boston’s first-round pick in 1983, Burks debuted with an 0-for-3 showing in an 11-2 loss in Seattle. He made up for it the following night, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored in a 12-3 win over the Angels.
Roger Clemens: May 15, 1984
“The Rocket” first toed the rubber for the Red Sox at the age of 21, allowing four earned runs off of 11 hits while striking out four over 5.2 innings against the Indians. He didn’t get a decision that day, but notched his first win a few days later when he gave up four runs over seven innings while striking out seven Twins.
Wade Boggs: April 10, 1982
Boggs went 0-for-4 in his debut, batting ninth and playing first in a loss in Baltimore, but hit .357 with a .410 OBP from June 10 until the end of the season. He finished his rookie year with a .349 average and 118 hits and came in third in Rookie of the Year voting.
Fred Lynn: September 5, 1974
Lynn made his debut as a pinch runner and went 0-for-1 in his debut, but hit .419 in a 15-game stint with the Red Sox at the end of the 1974 season. He had an amazing rookie year in 1975, hitting .331 with 21 homers, 105 RBI and an AL-leading 47 doubles. He went on to become the first player to win both the Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.
Jim Rice: August 19, 1974
“Jim Ed” made his debut late in the 1974 season as a DH, going 0-for-2 with a sac fly in a 6-1 win over the White Sox at Fenway Park. Rice got his first hit a few nights later in another win over Chicago, going 2-for-4 while driving in a pair of runs.
Dwight Evans: September 16, 1972
A fifth-round pick by the Red Sox in 1962, Dewey made his debut late in the 1972 season and went 0-for-1 after pinch-running for Reggie Smith. He got his first hit the following night as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, lining a single to left field against Gaylord Perry in a 9-2 Indians win at Fenway Park.
Carl Yastrzemski: April 11, 1961
Yaz went 1-for-5 in his debut at the age of 21, singling in his first career at-bat in a 5-2 loss to the Kansas City Athletics at Fenway Park. He hit .267 over 148 games that season, his first of 23 in Boston.
Johnny Pesky: April 14, 1942
Pesky spent nearly his entire life as a member of the Red Sox organization, a career that began with Pesky going 2-for-4 with a run scored in Boston’s Opening Day win over the Philadelphia Athletics in 1942. He finished the season with a league-high 205 hits (a rookie record at the time) before stepping away from the game for three years to serve during World War II.
Ted Williams: April 20, 1939
A 20-year-old Williams made his debut on Opening Day of the 1939 season, going 1-for-4 with a double in a 2-0 loss to the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Batting sixth for Boston, Teddy Ballgame clubbed his first career hit with a double in his second career at-bat.
Babe Ruth: July 11, 1914
Known as a great pitcher who sometimes hit monster home runs, “The Babe” made his debut for the Red Sox with seven strong innings of two-run ball against the Cleveland Naps to earn his first career win. He went 0-for-2 at the plate, finishing the 1914 season with two hits in 10 at-bats, going 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA on the mound.