Red Sox Won’t Rush This Top Prospect To Big Leagues After Trevor Story Injury

Chaim Bloom doesn't want to hurt this prospect's development


Jan 10, 2023

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is now staring at a gaping hole in the middle of Boston’s infield.

With Xander Bogaerts departing for the San Diego Padres in free agency and Trevor Story landing on the injury shelf Tuesday after undergoing an internal bracing procedure on the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Boston is without its two starters at both shortstop and second base from last season.

It will be on Bloom to find the right replacements and while he could comb over the open market in search of an under-the-radar signing, the answer could come from Boston’s pipeline of prospects.

Settle down, Bloom isn’t about to have Marcelo Mayer, the fourth overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft who hasn’t played above High-A Greenville, make the giant leap to the big leagues at 20 years old.

But, could Bloom rely on another highly touted prospect in Ceddanne Rafaela to fill the void in the middle infield? The Red Sox boss put up the stop sign on that, too.

Bloom told reporters Tuesday that there are no plans to rush Rafaela to the big leagues following Story’s injury news as the Red Sox don’t want to “side-track” the promising prospect’s development, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Rafaela exploded last season, going from relative unknown to Boston’s third-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The 22-year-old was also named the Red Sox 2022 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America.

While the Curacao native spent the majority of his time in center field over his stints with Greenville and Double-A Portland, he gained experience slotting in at shortstop. Rafaela played 21 games at shortstop between those two stops with 12 of those appearances coming with the Sea Dogs.

Rafaela possesses a dazzling glove, which he displayed routinely both in the outfield and in the middle infield. And even though he’s undersized at 5-foot-8 and 152 pounds, Rafaela batted .299 with 21 home runs and 86 RBIs to go along with 28 stolen bases in the minors this past season.

How quickly he makes an impact for the Red Sox obviously remains to be seen. If Rafaela keeps progressing, though, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility he’s playing games at Fenway Park this summer.

But Bloom made it clear that Story’s injury won’t be the reason Rafaela gets the call up to the show.

Thumbnail photo via Landon Bost/Naples Daily News/USA TODAY Network-Florida/USA TODAY Sports Images
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