The Red Sox are promoting versatile prospect Ceddanne Rafaela from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, as confirmed by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield.
Rafaela, 21, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The right-handed hitter began the 2022 season in Greenville and batted a stout .330/.368/.589 with 16 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 36 RBIs, 37 runs scored, 14 stolen bases, 10 walks, and 15 strikeouts over 45 games (209 plate appearances) with the Drive.
Among qualified South Atlantic League hitters, Rafaela ranks first in batting average, 23rd in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, second in OPS (.957), fourth in isolated power (.259), and ninth in stolen bases, per MiLB.com’s leaderboards.
On May 17, Rafaela became the first player in Drive history to hit for the natural cycle, as he went 4-for-5 with a first-inning single, third-inning double, seventh-inning triple, and eighth-inning home run in an 11-6 win over the Hickory Crawdads at Fluor Field.
Originally signed for just $10,000 as an international free agent coming out of Curacao in July 2017, Rafaela began to open eyes with Low-A Salem last year because of his defense. After playing six different positions (second base, third base, shortstop, left, right, and center field) in 2021, the Willemstad native was named the Red Sox’ Minor League Defensive Player of the Year in September.
So far this season, Rafaela has gotten playing time at second base, shortstop, and center field. To be exact, the 5-foot-8, 150 pounder has logged 270 1/3 innings in center while impressing the Red Sox with his defensive ability there, according to The Athletic’s Chad Jennings.
Rafaela, who turns 22 in September, will join the Sea Dogs before they open a six-game series against the Hartford Yard Goats at Hadlock Field on Tuesday night.
That the Red Sox are promoting Rafaela has deeper meaning when you consider the fact that he can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December. By allowing him to face stiffer competition in Portland, Boston gets the chance to further evaluate Rafaela before deciding if he will be added to the 40-man roster by the deadline in late November.
(Picture of Ceddanne Rafaela: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)