Red Sox to promote top prospect Ceddanne Rafaela to Triple-A Worcester
The Red Sox are promoting top prospect Ceddanne Rafaela from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, as was first reported by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
Rafaela was informed of the decision following Portland’s 7-3 loss to the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field on Sunday afternoon. He did not play in the game.
“It’s very exciting,” Rafaela told Speier. “I’ve been waiting for this chance. I’m happy I get it. I need to go up there and do the same thing I’ve been doing . . . I’ve been working, developing, and I feel very ready right now.”
In 60 games for the Sea Dogs this season, Rafaela batted .294/.332/.441 (107 wRC+) with 18 doubles, six home runs, 37 RBIs, 40 runs scored, an Eastern League-leading 30 stolen bases, 14 walks, and 55 strikeouts across 266 plate appearances. The right-handed hitting 22-year-old initially got his 2023 campaign off to a slow start, but he has turned it around as of late and is slashing a stout .341/.384/.533 (143 wRC+) in his last 34 games (152 plate appearances) dating back to May 13.
On the other side of the ball, Rafaela is considered to be one of the more polished defenders in the Red Sox organization, as evidenced by him being named the club’s Minor League Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022. This season alone, the versatile 5-foot-9, 165-pounder made 43 starts at center field and seven at shortstop for Portland. He committed eight errors in 163 defensive chances.
While the defensive abilities are undoubtedly there, there are some concerns when it comes to Rafaela’s plate discipline. He struck out in 20.7 percent and walked in only 5.3 percent of his plate appearances with the Sea Dogs this year, though he has worked to improve both of those marks in recent weeks.
A native of Curacao, Rafaela originally signed with the Red Sox for just $10,000 as an international free agent in June 2018. He has since risen through the ranks and was added to Boston’s 40-man roster last November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.
Rafaela, who turns 23 in September, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in the Red Sox farm system behind only Marcelo Mayer, Miguel Bleis, Nick Yorke, and Roman Anthony. He is now slated to join a talented WooSox roster that includes other top prospects such as Shane Drohan, Brandon Walter, Enmanuel Valdez, and Wilyer Abreu.
By earning a promotion to Worcester, Rafaela is one step closer to reaching the major-leagues. To get there, he will need to show that he can handle and succeed against advanced competition at the Triple-A level.
(Picture of Ceddanne Rafaela: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)