Highly touted Boston Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela is garnering a lot of deserved attention recently due to his sensational play.
After ESPN viewed Rafaela’s campaign as one of the best breakout seasons for a prospect, the 22-year-old took home a major award Tuesday when Baseball America named Rafaela the Red Sox 2022 Minor League Player of the Year.
Rafaela flourished between High-A Greenville and Double-A Portland this season, slashing .299/.342/.539 with 21 home runs, 86 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 116 games. Despite a slender 5-foot-8, 152-pound frame, Rafaela tallied 63 extra-base hits to lead all Red Sox minor leaguers, according to MassLive’s Christopher Smith.
What was even better than Rafaela’s potent bat is his stellar defense both in center field and at shortstop as he turned into a web-game machine by routinely producing highlight-reel plays.
“You put him in the big leagues right now, he wins the Gold Glove as an outfielder,” Red Sox infield coordinator Darren Fenster said, per Baseball America. “He’s not there yet as an infielder, but talent-wise and with some more reps and some more polish, he has Gold Glove potential as a shortstop as well.”
The play from Rafaela, who is ranked as the Red Sox’s No. 4 prospect in the farm system by Baseball America, also caught the eye of Boston manager Alex Cora, especially due to his elite defensive ability.
Rafaela obviously showcased his superb potential this season and by being able to play multiple positions — and if he can continue to stay on his current trajectory and continue to develop — it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he makes his way onto a big-league diamond at some point next year.