BOSTON (CBS) — Rafael Devers is having a breakout season for the Boston Red Sox, tearing the cover off the ball as one of the best hitters in the game. The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association has taken notice, and awarded Devers for his dedication to the game.
Devers has been announced as Boston’s 2019 Heart and Hustle Award winner, given to one player on each team who demonstrates “a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game.” The 22-year-old third baseman will be recognized as Boston’s recipient ahead of an upcoming home game.
“Although he is a young player, he plays and practices like a veteran with heart and hustle,” said Tony La Russa, Boston’s vice president/special assistant to the president of baseball operations.
Devers has had an outstanding 2019 season so far, slashing .326/.380/.552 to go with 17 homers and 27 doubles. He’s tied for third in the American League with 66 RBIs and is fourth with 72 runs scored. He had two errors in Monday night’s win over the Blue Jays, but his defense has gotten better as the season has progressed, with Monday night’s miscues his first in 17 games. After committing eight errors in 29 games in March and April, Devers has only six at the hot corner in his 58 games since the start of May.
As the end of the season gets closer, all MLBPAA members and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team winners. Two Red Sox players have won the final award, with Mookie Betts taking home the honors last year and Dustin Pedroia winning in 2012.
The final winner will be announced on November 7, 2019 at the 20th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City.