Red Sox option trio of prospects, including Ceddanne Rafaela, to Triple-A Worcester

Following Monday afternoon’s 16-3 blowout loss to the Blue Jays in Dunedin, the Red Sox made their fourth round of spring training roster cuts.

Boston optioned infielder David Hamilton, infielder/outfielder Ceddanne Rafaela, and left-hander Brandon Walter to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced. All three of these players were added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

Hamilton, 25, has appeared in 13 Grapefruit League games for Boston this spring. The speedy left-handed hitter has gone 7-fot-24 (.292) at the plate with one double, four RBIs, three runs scored, five stolen bases, three walks, and nine strikeouts in that span.

After setting a new franchise record by stealing 70 bases with Double-A Portland last season, Hamilton could very well make his impact felt with the Red Sox this year. Over the winter, Major League Baseball implemented a pitch clock, larger bases, and a limit on pickoff attempts in an effort to increase action on the basepaths.

Rafaela, 22, has appeared in 15 Grapefruit League games this spring. In that stretch, the versatile right-handed hitter has batted .207 (6-for-29) with six singles, four runs driven in, four runs scored, one stolen base, one walk, and six strikeouts.

Originally signed out of Curacao for just $10,000 in July 2017, Rafaela is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He is capable of playing both shortstop and center field at a high level and has been named the organization’s Minor League Defensive Player of the Year the last two years.

Walter, meanwhile, struggled out of the bullpen against the Blue Jays on Monday. The 26-year-old southpaw got tagged for six earned runs on eight hits, no walks, and three strikeouts over two innings of relief. Of the 44 pitches he threw, 31 went for strikes.

A former 26th-round draft selection out of Delaware in 2019, Walter is coming off a solid 2022 campaign in which he walked just three of the 196 batters he faced between Portland and Worcester. After making just two starts for the WooSox, though, Walter was shut down for the season in June due to a bulging disc in his upper back that was originally diagnosed as a neck strain.

Like Bryan Mata, who was optioned to Worcester on Sunday, Walter will provide the Red Sox with starting rotation depth in the upper-minors to begin the 2023 season. He is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 10 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks second among pitchers in the organization.

With Monday’s subtractions, the Red Sox now have 51 players remaining on their major-league spring training roster. Of those 51 players, 15 are in camp as non-roster invitees.

(Picture of Ceddanne Rafaela: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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