Rafael Devers
Rafael Devers should be viewed as untouchable. The first order of business for the Red Sox needs to be locking him up with an extension. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Who is going to be part of the next great Red Sox team? That’s what Chaim Bloom is tasked with accomplishing. If there is anything clear when it comes to this rebuild, Rafael Devers should be untouchable.

Rafael Devers is one of the best young stars in the sport. As the league becomes more and more reliant on the home run, players that can make contact are very valuable. You can’t be a strikeout machine or pull happy hitter grounding into the shift. Those guys are being phased out of the game.

Devers, 23, is the total package: left-handed power that can spray the ball to every part of the field and always makes contact. On the season, Devers sports a batting line of .293/.345/.550 with 11 homers and a .894 OPS. Devers also got off to a terrible start hitting .172 in July, which could be attributed to the long lay off since the season almost got canceled.

Devers has been better than his incredible numbers indicate. The man nicknamed “big sticks” ranks in the bottom 25th percentile in whiff rate. That doesn’t tell the full story either. Devers is excellent at making contact but needs to swing at the right pitches.

If Devers has one weakness, it’s that he swings at pitches outside of the zone. The bottom left and right corner outside of the strike zone, Devers, has swung at over 40% of those pitches. He’s still posting elite numbers despite that. Imagine if Devers learns the strike zone?

Devers swing is hard to explain. The front foot comes in with his elbows, controlled and relaxed, then his hips do the rest, and the ball sprays all over the yard. It’s such a smooth swing with no holes in the zone. The soft stroke had Devers leading the MLB in doubles last year (54).

How did he hit that ball out? Devers just has so much torque and plate coverage. Sure, you don’t want him swinging at everything, but the great ones hit terrible pitches, well.

With left-handed hitters (especially at Fenway), it’s essential to take the ball the other way when it’s given to you. Devers has no issue doing so. He’s never going to be a guy that grounds into a shift over and over. Devers can hit the ball to all fields.

Lefty on lefty matchups with a pitch way outside of the zone? No problem, I’ll take this puppy the other way for a knock. Devers has no issues facing left or right-handed pitching. The ball just jumps off his bat. Devers ranks in the top 93rd percentile in exit velocity.

More so than anything, Devers has taken major strides as a fielder. As a rookie, Devers was arguably the worst fielder in the sport. Now, he’s turned the corner and is more capable in the field. Devers is growing rapidly in every area of the game.

The first order of business this offseason needs to be a contract extension for Rafael Devers. It shouldn’t be a discussion or talking point. Make sure this man spends the next ten years in a Red Sox uniform. Devers will hit arbitration for the first time this Winter. Let’s not let it even get to this point. Devers isn’t available. Get an extension done.