Red Sox

21-year-old prospect Ceddanne Rafaela has impressed Red Sox with power, defense

"He’s having a great, great season."

Ceddanne Rafaela takes batting practice before the MLB All-Star Futures baseball game. Abbie Parr/AP Photo

The Red Sox may be sputtering toward a last-place finish in the American League East, but they do have some promising young prospects who could shape the future of the organization.

One of those players is Ceddanne Rafaela, a 21-year-old Curacao native currently dazzling for Double-A Portland. Rafaela belted a clutch grand slam Wednesday that helped the Sea Dogs clinch a playoff berth.

He’s currently Boston’s No. 4 prospect, behind Marcelo Mayer, Brayan Bello, and Triston Casas, and the No. 81 player on Baseball America’s Top 100 list.

Rafaela isn’t the biggest guy at 5-foot-8, 159 pounds, yet he’s still put up impressive power numbers.


He leads all Red Sox minor leaguers with 63 extra-base hits and is hitting .303 with a .346 on-base percentage, .547 slugging percentage, .893 OPS, 21 homers, 32 doubles, 10 triples, 82 runs, 86 RBIs, and 28 stolen bases between Portland (69 games) and High-A Salem (45 games).

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Rafaela’s defense is elite, both at shortstop and in the outfield. He called him a “very unique” player.

“His body, obviously he’s not a big guy, but he’s a strong kid,” Cora told reporters Friday. “He punishes the ball to right-center. It seems like he has made progress as far as like swing decisions and all that. And he’s having a great, great season.”

According to MassLive’s Christopher Smith, Rafaela is Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter, so the Red Sox will need to add him to the 40-man roster in November.

Smith wrote that Cora is looking forward to getting to know Rafaela better this offseason when the right-handed hitter plays under Red Sox first base coach Ramon Vazquez for Caguas of the Puerto Rican Winter League. Vazquez manages Caguas, Cora’s hometown team, Smith noted.

Cora said the Red Sox are eager to have Rafaela around and learn more about him as a person. They’re intrigued by what they’ve seen so far.


“The player, we really like,” Cora told reporters. “I think the way he went about it the whole season, it was impressive. And what that group did toward the end, that was fun to watch from afar.”


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