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Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela selected to play in All-Star Futures Game

Ceddanne Rafaela has emerged as one of the top 10 players in the Red Sox farm system.Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive/GWINN DAVIS

Super-utility prospect Ceddanne Rafaela entered pro ball in obscurity when the Red Sox signed him to a $10,000 bonus out of Curaçao in 2017. Now the 21-year-old will step into a prospect spotlight.

Rafaela was one of eight players announced as participants in the Futures Game, which will take place at Dodger Stadium during All-Star Weekend. The rest of the team will be announced on Thursday.

Rafaela’s emergence as one of the top 10 prospects in the Red Sox system traces to a pair of developments that altered his path in 2021. A versatile, 5-foot-8-inch infielder to that point, Rafaela added outfield duties to his profile and immediately showed elite defense in center on top of his above-average glove at shortstop, second base, and third.


Even so, he looked like a big league role player at best while hitting just .225/.302/.317 with one home run through the first two months of last year. But Rafaela made an adjustment to raise his hand position, resulting in a cleaner, more direct path to the ball, one that allowed him to channel his surprising strength into hard contact.

The result? Rafaela started to show surprising thump down the stretch last year in Single A Salem, hitting .266/.306/.484 with nine homers in his last 63 games, then erupted at two levels this year. Rafaela hit .330/.368/.594 with nine homers, 30 extra-base hits, and 14 steals in 45 games with High-A Greenville to earn a promotion to Double A. Since joining Portland, he’s hitting .278/.333/.578 with six homers and 13 extra-base hits in 23 games.

Rafaela’s 43 extra-base hits this year lead the minors, and his .314/.357/.589 line suggests a standout season that made a place in the Futures Game logical.

Alex Speier can be reached at alex.speier@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.