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Ceddanne Rafaela: ‘Runs Circles Around’ Mookie Betts?

Ceddanne Rafaela
Runs circles around Mookie Betts? That’s what the Red Sox development team is saying about Ceddanne Rafaela. Are the comps valid or totally out of control? (GWINN DAVIS MEDIA)

Ceddanne Rafaela: ‘Runs Circles Around’ Mookie Betts?

While Chaim Bloom might be screwing up the winning part of building a major league roster, he’s crushing the farm system part of the job. The reports coming out about these Red Sox prospects are frankly staggering. I’ve already tracked those reports on Enmanuel Valdez and Miguel Bleis. Somehow, the words being thrown around to describe Ceddanne Rafaela are loftier.

I kid you not. The words “run circles around Mookie Betts” were used. The Red Sox development staff is basically guaranteeing Rafaela will be a star with multiple Gold Gloves in his future.

“You come to a ballgame, you see him play, he passes the eye test like no other. But he passes the [data-driven] computer test as well,” said Red Sox roving outfield instructor Corey Wimberly, noting internal evaluations had placed Rafaela among the top 10 defensive outfielders in all of professional baseball, and as high as No. 2.

“I truly believe this: You put him in the big leagues right now, he wins the Gold Glove as an outfielder,” said Red Sox infield coordinator Darren Fenster. “He’s not there yet as an infielder, but talent-wise and with some more reps and some more polish, he has Gold Glove potential as a shortstop as well. It’s wild the talent that this kid has.”

“This is my 20th year in the organization. I have never seen the guy that you could put in two premier positions on the diamond and he plays at that elite status. I’ve just never seen anything like it,” said Sea Dogs manager Chad Epperson. “He gets to balls with ease and has a knack to play the infield, always in charge of hops … You hear coaches that you talk to on the other team [say] he’s the best player in the league.”

“Mookie can be [ticked] at me, but this kid runs circles around where [Betts] was [defensively] at this point in time,” said Epperson. “That’s how special this kid is. You have to see it.”

Also not included in these quotes is a portion about how a rival NL exec says Rafaela is so good that he broke their scoring chart.

How can you not be excited about the things you’re reading about Rafaela? Better yet, just check out some of these plays.

That’s right. Rafaela is doing this playing everywhere on the diamond. We could be looking at one of the more insane utility players coming up through the minors. Rafaela, 21, has hit .297/.345/.545 over the course of the season between high A and AA. Rafaela sure looks like a steal after signing with Boston in 2017 from Curaçao for $10,000.

Ceddanne Rafaela is now listed among the top 100 according to MLB.com. While it’s very easy to criticize Chaim Bloom, it’s undeniable how far this farm system has come. There is going to be a lot of exciting young talent all over this Red Sox roster in a very short period of time.

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