Ceddanne Rafaela has carried his stellar glove all over the diamond since being promoted by the Boston Red Sox.

Rafaela has made the majority of his appearances since entering the big leagues in center field and at shortstop. The 23-year-old got his first start at second base Friday against the Chicago White Sox.

There projects to be an opening at that position next season, one which Rafaela surely could claim since shortstop already is occupied by Trevor Story and Jarren Duran likely will be the leading candidate to patrol center again after a strong bounce-back season.

But playing Rafaela at second base isn’t in Alex Cora’s long-term plans as the Red Sox skipper sees the youngster’s future in the outfield.

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“Center field,” Cora told reporters prior to facing the White Sox at Fenway Park, per the Boston Herald’s Mac Cerullo. “He’s a game changer.”

Aside from a costly gaffe on a line drive in Toronto against the Blue Jays last weekend, Rafaela has been sound defensively, which can be expected since that was the best attribute he showcased in the minors.

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Rafaela, who entered Friday batting .305 with two home runs and four RBIs in 20 games, still has a long way to go to reach his ceiling. But the Red Sox seem to have a plan in place for him to maximize his abilities as Rafaela looks to be a contributor in the majors throughout the 2024 season.

“There’s still work to do,” Cora said, per Cerullo. “This is a league where they will expose you and we have to be very careful, but the fact that he’s here, he’s been able to play, he’s been able to play against tough competition this whole month, it only benefits him. We’ll attack the offseason the right way, give him a plan, he’s very disciplined with that. So moving forward we’ll see him in spring training and see where it takes us.”

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