Pink Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela continues Triple-A tear by hitting homer in fifth consecutive recreation

Pink Sox

Rafaela, broadly thought to be one in every of Boston’s prime prospects, has hit 11 homers in his first 30 video games with Triple-A Worcester.

Ceddanne Rafaela has been on a tear since he reached Triple-A Worcester. Jim Davis/Globe Employees

Ceddanne Rafaela has continued his sturdy first month-plus lengthy stretch with Triple-A Worcester by happening an historic tear during the last week.

The minor league outfielder hit one other house run Saturday night time, marking the fifth consecutive recreation that Rafaela’s hit a house run. It marks the primary time in WooSox historical past {that a} participant has hit a house run in that many consecutive video games.

Following Saturday’s win for Worcester, Rafaela has posted a .317 batting common with a 1.053 OPS to go together with 11 homers and 27 RBIs in his first 30 video games in Triple-A.

The correct-handed hitter has additionally been using your complete discipline throughout his sizzling begin. Rafaela’s homer on Saturday went down the right-field line, marking the third house run he’s hit the alternative means throughout his latest stretch. He’s additionally hit a pair extra the alternative means, including his first home run at the Triple-A level.

As Rafaela has been crushing the ball with the WooSox, Pink Sox supervisor Alex Cora advised reporters Saturday what makes him stand out in comparison with different prospects and what he likes to see him do.

“The one factor we all the time need from him whatever the numbers is controlling the strike zone,” Cora mentioned. “He’s very distinctive in what he does as a result of he chases pitches however he’s hitting.”

Rafaela hasn’t essentially posted the very best stroll price to this point with the WooSox, recording a 5.2 p.c stroll price (for reference, that will rank near the underside for certified hitters in MLB this season). However he recorded a four-walk recreation on Wednesday. The one official at-bat he had in that recreation was a house run.

“That’s an excellent recreation for me,” Cora mentioned. “So the extra he walks, the extra he controls the strike zone, the higher he’s going to be.”

Not solely is it Rafaela’s bat that’s made him an attractive prospect to this point, but it surely’s additionally his pace on the bottom paths and within the discipline that permits him to make different spotlight performs.

Rafaela’s solely recorded three steals in his first 30 video games with Worcester, however he had a whopping 30 steals in 60 video games with Double-A Portland earlier in 2023.

There’s one play that stands above the remainder, although, the place Rafaela has proven his large pace this season. In Worcester’s recreation in opposition to Rochester on July 27, Rafaela went from first to house in a sequence that began with a pitch touchdown within the grime. He took off from second and shortly obtained up from his dive to run to 3rd earlier than taking off for house as Rochester’s relay throw from middle discipline was a bit lazy.

A couple of days later, Rafaela made a pair of spectacular diving grabs whereas manning middle discipline.

Rafaela has largely performed middle discipline throughout his 5 seasons within the Pink Sox’ minor league system, making it his main place through the 2021 season. However his pace and vary have additionally led him to play some shortstop, too.

The 22-year-old’s distinctive skillset has additionally helped climb in some prospect rankings this 12 months. The Athletic’s Keith Legislation not too long ago ranked Rafaela because the Forty eighth-best prospect in baseball, saying he’s “top-of-the-line defensive middle fielders anyplace within the minors” however his chasing on the plate offset his energy and pace a bit.

“There’s such a excessive flooring right here with the protection and energy; Kevin Kiermaier has performed 11 years and been price over 30 rWAR with a profession .310 OBP due to his protection and has no extra energy than Rafaela does,” Legislation wrote of Rafaela. “If the Curaçao native can deal with swinging at strikes, that sort of profession is inside attain.”

Even when there are components of Rafaela’s recreation that aren’t full, Cora has appreciated what he’s seen from him in Triple-A.

“The hassle. Clearly the protection. And the at-bats are getting higher,” Cora mentioned.