FORT MYERS, Fla. — Rafael Devers, regardless of a disappointing efficiency within the World Baseball Traditional from a person and a crew standpoint, was all smiles upon returning to Purple Sox camp on Friday.
Representing the Dominican Republic on a world stage for the primary time is one thing Devers will always remember.
“It was an excellent expertise, a extremely good expertise for me,” Devers stated. “I am very completely satisfied that I had the chance to symbolize my nation. The video games had been very, very intense, very motivational for me, and I felt completely satisfied to have the ability to symbolize my nation.”
The Dominican Republic was favored by many to win the Traditional however as an alternative acquired knocked out of Pool D with a 2-2 report, shedding to Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Devers, who served because the cleanup hitter and DH for a squad that had Manny Machado at third base, went 2-for-16 with two walks and no RBIs.
“These issues occur. I can go 0-for-20 or 0-for-30,” Devers stated. “That’s baseball. For me, I am assured about my capability and what I can do, the issues that I can do on the sphere. I am actually calm. I am not likely pondering an excessive amount of into it. It is not like I went 2-for-16 and I forgot the right way to hit or something like that. It simply occurred in that event. I nonetheless have the identical confidence as earlier than I left the camp.”
If the efficiency by Devers was forgettable, there have been components of the expertise that the left-handed-hitting slugger will keep in mind for a very long time. What stood out probably the most was the electrical crowd in Miami.
“There was a second the place I could not hear anyone beside me,” Devers stated. “That’s a extremely stunning second for us as gamers, when you might have so many individuals cheering for you and be as loud as they had been.”
Watching Machado — an elite defender at third base — go about his enterprise was actually a bonus for Devers.
“In fact I discovered loads from Manny Machado. He’s top-of-the-line third basemen, if not the perfect third baseman, proper now within the sport,” Devers stated. “Simply watching him going about his enterprise and taking part in, you be taught loads. It was an excellent second for me.”
The moments he acquired to bond with different stars from his nation was one other perk of the expertise.
“It was an excellent expertise to have the ability to share a clubhouse with these guys, with [Juan] Soto, with Machado, with Jeremy Peña. These are guys that you just wish to share your clubhouse with or your crew with at any second, and it was a extremely nice expertise for me,” Devers stated.
Now that he’s again in camp, the Purple Sox want him to get the reps at third base that he missed whereas backing up Machado. Devers will begin Saturday’s residence sport on the sizzling nook towards the Orioles. After a day without work Sunday when the Purple Sox go to Clearwater to play the Phillies, Devers will play the subsequent three days.
“Only for him to get his repetitions at third base is necessary for us. It’s essential,” stated Purple Sox supervisor Alex Cora. “As we speak he took floor balls with [infield instructor] Carlos [Febles] on the again fields. So far as the at-bats, he’s in all probability readier than anybody else right here. Repetitions at third base — simply standing up over there for 5 – 6 innings, seven innings — is necessary for his conditioning too. Clearly we’ve acquired him right here now, and we’ll ensure that he is prepared for the season.”
Whereas Devers already proved within the 2018 and ‘21 postseasons that he embraces taking part in on the large stage, the Traditional was a distinct type of particular for the 26-year-old.
“It wasn’t the perfect one for him clearly, however to be round these guys and discuss to them and the way in which he talks about these video games, the depth from pitch one all the way in which to the top, it’s an excellent studying expertise,” Cora stated. “It’s a enjoyable one, and [he] checked that field. We’ll see what occurs [next World Baseball Classic], however at the very least he can say he represented his nation and now he’s with us.”