SAN DIEGO -- It was easily one of the low points of Rafael Devers' otherwise breakout 2019, but it led to a phone call that changed his season.
On May 2 in Chicago, Devers booted a ground with one out in the ninth and the Red Sox holding a 4-3 lead over the White Sox. Two batters later, Nick Delmonico launched a walkoff three-run homer, and a disconsolate Devers admitted that he "played a significant role in the loss."
Teammate Mitch Moreland, however, saw an opportunity. He put Devers in touch with a former Rangers teammate who knows a thing or two about manning the hot corner -- five-time Gold Glover and future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre.
The two spoke a couple of times a month for the rest of the season, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora is excited to see what impact Beltre's wisdom will have on Devers in 20202.
"He took it personally," Cora said of the Chicago error. "And I'll say it now, after that, Mitch actually, he made a phone call to the Dominican Republic and talked to Adrian, and Adrian talked to Raffy, and from there on, the communication was on an every-other-week basis, and there's a few things that Adrian told him to do in the offseason and what he should do in spring training, and looking forward for him to work that way and see where it takes him."
After making nine errors in his first 31 games, Devers made just 13 the rest of the way, and the Red Sox expect he'll continue making strides next season.
"As far as like moving and decisions and what he did last year compared to where he was in my first year, it's night and day," Cora said. "The confidence, too."
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How future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre quietly helped turn around Rafael Devers' season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston