Devers, Shawaryn named Red Sox's Prospects of the Year

Devers, Shawaryn named Red Sox's Prospects of the Year

BOSTON -- Third baseman Rafael Devers is a key player for the American League East champion Red Sox as they embark on a postseason run. That development was made possible by the left-handed hitter having a breakout first four months of the season in the Minor Leagues.

And the prowess Devers displayed at Double-A Portland and Triple-A Portland has landed him as MLB Pipeline's Hitting Prospect of the Year for the Red Sox in 2017. Right-hander Mike Shawaryn, a fifth-round selection in the 2016 Draft, has been selected as Boston's Pitching Prospect of the Year.

Red Sox Prospects of the Year
2017 Rafael Devers Mike Shawaryn
2016 Andrew Benintendi Michael Kopech
2015 Yoan Moncada Brian Johnson
Year Hitter Pitcher

Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors, appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list and played the entire year in the organization.

Devers, who turns 21 on Oct. 24, has been a game-changer for a Boston team that couldn't generate much production at third base until his arrival on July 24.

In 86 games in the Minors this season, Devers slashed .311/.377/.578 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs. For the Red Sox, he played in 58 regular-season games, putting together a line of .284/.338/.482.

"It's a pretty impressive feat for him to be up here and to be able to handle everything that goes on as a 20-year-old," said Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett. "I think a lot of credit goes to the player development staff that worked with him through some challenges at times last year and really helped building the success for each year he's had as he's moved up. Each year, he's had better and better years and success at each higher level he's gone to. He's an impressive kid and he enjoys the game and he doesn't let too many things bother him."

As for Shawaryn, the Red Sox No. 7 prospect, the club hopes the 23-year-old can become a cog in their rotation in the coming years. In his first full season in the Minors, Shawaryn split the season between Class A Greenville and Class A Advanced Salem, going 8-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 26 starts. He had 169 strikeouts in 134 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .228 average.

"He was impressive between two different levels, and he punched out a bunch of different guys and had some really dominant games at times," said Crockett. "It was a good developmental year. He really worked on throwing the breaking ball a little harder and more consistently. Changeup at times was a dominant pitch and I think something we're working on continuing to really be a part of his mix consistently. He's got a good fastball. He gets swings and misses and can elevate."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.