Expectations for Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela in Spring Training
Boston Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela will see consistent playing time in spring training. That excites fans, but what exactly should they be looking for from Rafaela?
Defensively, honestly, expect greatness. Rafaela will likely see most of his time in center field. He'll make all the "easy plays" look effortless and all the "hard plays" look easy.
Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela flashes the glove, but becoming more selective at the plate will be his key to greatness
Rafaela will also see some time at shortstop. It's more of the same there. He plays gold glove defense that will make your jaw drop.
Offensively, the right-handed hitter was a powerhouse last season. Rafaela tore up High-A pitching before impressing in Double-A. He showed off a dangerous combination of speed and power.
There was one glaring weakness, though: his pitch selection. Rafaela did not take a lot of walks. He was swinging at a lot of pitches well out of the zone. His phenomenal bat-to-ball skills helped him make contact often, but it wasn't always helping his EVO.
With that in mind, that is what you should look for in Spring Training. If Rafaela dominates, sweet, that's awesome. But remember that this is someone with under 300 at-bats in Double-A. It's not fair to expect him to hit .300 with a couple of bombs and a few steals. Spring training should be about growth, learning, and improvement.
What you should look out for is how Ceddanne Rafaela adjusts
Does he work counts? Can he hold off on some close pitches? Will he handle MLB pitching well?
It's easy to get caught up in stats. Red Sox fans aren't the only ones that do it. But Ceddanne Rafaela isn't entering Spring Training with a realistic chance to win a roster spot. If he decides to go superhuman mode, more power to him. But this feels more like a chance to get his feet wet.
So what should you look for from your favorite prospect this spring? His approach. Can Ceddanne Rafaela prove he has what it takes to handle Major League pitching and start silencing some doubters? Can he contribute for the Boston Red Sox in the long run?
I wouldn't bet against him. Other than that, sit back and enjoy the show. Rafaela will definitely keep you entertained.