Versatile Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela made his debut in the MLB All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.
Representing the Red Sox alongside top pitching prospect Brayan Bello (who was replaced on the American League roster earlier this week), Rafaela was used as a pinch-hitter in the AL’s 6-4 victory over the National League in the seven-inning showcase.
The right-handed hitter came on for Yankees outfielder Jasson Dominguez in the top of the fourth inning and wound up going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Defensively, Rafaela took over at shortstop for another Yankees prospect in Anthony Volpe. He had one ball hit to him — a 74 mph grounder off the bat of Logan O’Hoppe — and fielded it cleanly to record the first out of the seventh inning.
Athletics catching prospect Shea Langeliers was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after going 1-for-2 with a solo home run. Blue Jays pitching prospect Yosver Zulueta earned the winning decision.
Rafaela, meanwhile, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in Boston’s farm system and the 84th-ranked prospect in all of baseball.
After beginning the 2022 season at High-A Greenville, Rafaela earned a promotion to Double-A Portland on June 7. Since then, the 21-year-old has batted a stout .282/.331/.564 to go along with six doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 19 RBIs, 21 runs scored, five stolen bases, five walks, and 23 strikeouts in his first 29 games (128 plate appearances) with the Sea Dogs.
On the other side of the ball, Rafaela has experience at six different positions. So far with Portland, the 5-foot-8, 152-pounder has logged nine innings at second base, 36 innings at shortstop, and 202 innings in center field, which is his best position.
Originally signed by the Red Sox for just $10,000 as an international free-agent coming out of Curacao a little more than five years ago, Rafaela — who turns 22 in September — can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the second time in his career this winter.
The Red Sox would need to add Rafaela to their 40-man roster by late November in order to prevent that from happening, which now seems all but guaranteed to happen.
(Picture of Ceddanne Rafaela: Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)