Boston Red Sox centerfield prospect – Ceddanne Rafaela
Ceddanne Chipper Nicasio Marte Rafaela (number one on my prospect list) was protected by the Red Sox. Okay, I’m done with this slide. That’s all that needed to be said.
What? I need to write more? Really? Does anyone really need an explanation for this? No. But I’m going to give you one anyway.
Rafaela entered 2022 as an interesting prospect who I was stupid high on. And he made me feel like a baseball savant. The right-handed hitter slashed .299/.342/.538 with 32 doubles, 10 triples, and 21 home runs between High-A and Double-A. He drove in 86 runs, scored 82 more, and stole 28 bases.
The only knock anyone seems to have on his game is his plate discipline. We saw improvements at times, but he does tend to swing at a lot of bad pitches. In his defense, he makes contact with them pretty often, though.
Rafaela is an elite defender in the outfield. The center fielder is going to win a Gold Glove (or multiple) — that just feels like a given at this point. He’s capable of winning one at shortstop as well. And if he decides to start playing third base and second base again (like he did in 2021), he’d probably win some there too.
Rafaela will likely start 2023 in Triple-A. In the eyes of MLB, he rose from “fringe-top-30 Red Sox prospect” to “top 100 prospect in all of baseball” in a single season.
Your favorite prospect’s favorite prospect has a legitimate chance at cracking the Majors next season. He’ll make an immediate impact thanks to his defense and unique combination of power and speed (especially for someone his size). Fans that somehow aren’t aware of his game will fall in love with him immediately.
It would’ve been bonkers for the Boston Red Sox not to protect Ceddanne Chipper Nicasio Marte Rafaela.