The Red Sox have rarely had this dominant a combo on the left side of their infield.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers have powered the Red Sox’ outstanding first half of the 2021 season, and it’s earned them each a starting gig in July’s All-Star Game. It’s also the first time in Red Sox history that their SS and 3B both start in the same Midsummer Classic.
Devers became the first Red Sox third baseman to appear in the MLB All-Star Game since Adrian Beltre in 2010, and the first to start since Shea Hillenbrand in 2002. Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra was a reserve in the 2002 game.
Bogaerts, meanwhile, made his first All-Star appearance as a starting shortstop in 2016 and later made the reserves in 2019. He’s become one of the premier all-around players in baseball, leading all qualified shortstops with a .329 batting average and sitting fourth in the majors with a 3.7 WAR. Only Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Ronald Acuña have a higher WAR among all position players.
As for Devers, he leads the majors with a nice 69 RBIs. He also leads all qualifying third basemen in slugging (.582) and in WAR (3.2).
The duo may not be elite in the field, but their bats more than make up for that as one of the strongest offensive 1-2 punches in baseball. Add DH J.D. Martinez, who has a good chance to be named a reserve for the 2021 All-Star team, and you have the trio that has keyed the Red Sox’ 51-31 record.
But regardless of how the Red Sox build their roster going forward, they know they have a dominating 3B-SS combo for years to come.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at email@example.com.