Ceddanne Rafaela will represent the Red Sox in the All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium later this month, Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday.
Full rosters for the American and National League squads will be revealed on Thursday, but eight participants — including Rafaela — were unveiled earlier Wednesday morning on MLB Network Radio.
Rafaela, 21, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the 22nd-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally signed the versatile infielder/outfielder for just $10,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Curacao in July 2017.
After earning Minor League Defensive Player of the Year honors within the organization in 2021, Rafaela began the 2022 campaign at High-A Greenville. In 45 games with the Drive, the speedy right-handed hitter batted a stout .330/.368/.594 (155 wRC+) with 17 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 36 RBIs, 37 runs scored, 14 stolen bases, 10 walks, and 51 strikeouts over 209 plate appearances. He even hit for the cycle on May 17.
That level of production at High-A earned Rafaela a promotion to Double-A Portland on June 7. Since then, the Willemstad native has slashed .278/.333/.578 (143 wRC+) with five doubles, two triples, six homers, 18 RBIs, 14 runs scored, three stolen bases, five walks, and 20 strikeouts in his first 23 games (100 plate appearances) with the Sea Dogs.
Listed at 5-foot-8 and 152 pounds, Rafaela has experience at all three outfield positions and every infield position besides first base. This season alone between Greenville and Portland, he has seen playing time at second base, third base, and (primarily) center field.
Rafaela, who turns 22 in September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the second time in his career this winter. And, unlike last year, he now appears to be a slam dunk to be added to Boston’s 40-man roster in order to receive Rule 5 protection.
While Rafaela may not be alone in representing the Red Sox at the All-Star Futures Game, he will definitely be heading to Los Angeles on July 16 to participate in the seven-inning showcase.
(Picture of Ceddanne Rafaela: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)