Not only did Ceddanne Rafaela just sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox that runs through 2031 (with a club option for 2032).

He also graduated from “prospect” status, forcing MLB Pipeline to update both its top 100 MLB prospects list and its top 30 Red Sox prospects rankings.

Let’s focus on the Red Sox, for obvious reasons. Who replaced Rafaela in the organization’s new top 30, you ask?

Well, look no further than Luis Guerrero, a 23-year-old right-hander who opened the 2024 season at Triple-A Worcester after being named Pitcher of the Year with Double-A Portland in 2023.

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Guerrero also was named the Red Sox’s Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year last season, punctuating a productive year that saw him earn selection to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and blossom into one of the franchise’s best bullpen prospects.

Guerrero rounds out MLB Pipeline’s Red Sox prospects list at No. 30, just behind three notable hurlers in Justin Slaten, Bryan Mata and Brandon Walter.

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Slaten, acquired in an offseason trade from the New York Mets after being selected from the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft, appears on his way to carving out a meaningful role in Boston’s big-league bullpen. Will Guerrero follow suit later in 2024?

MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis isn’t ruling it out, tweeting Tuesday: “Guerrero can push his fastball to 100 mph, misses bats with his diving splitter & could help the @RedSox bullpen at some point this season.”

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Guerrero, a Dominican Republic native, joined the Red Sox in 2021 as a 17th-round draft pick out of Chipola College (Florida). He compiled 18 saves, posted a 1.81 ERA and struck out 10.7 batters per nine innings in 43 appearances (49 2/3 innings) with the Sea Dogs last season.

Guerrero has had issues with walks, issuing 6.1 free passes per nine innings in his 49 appearances (54 1/3 innings) split between Portland and Worcester in 2023, but his raw stuff jumps off the page. There’s reason to believe he’ll someday pitch high-leverage innings in Boston.

Featured image via Rich Storry/USA TODAY Sports Images