Red Sox prospects to watch this weekend when Sea Dogs come to town

·3 min read

Jul. 22—Although many of the Red Sox' top prospects are either playing above the Double-A level (right-handed pitcher Brayan Bello and first baseman Triston Casas) or below it (shortstop Marcelo Mayer and second baseman Nick Yorke), infielder/outfielder Ceddanne Rafaela is a player local Red Sox fans may want to keep an eye on when the Portland Sea Dogs come to Manchester this weekend.

The Sea Dogs — Boston's Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League — are scheduled to begin a three-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats tonight at Delta Dental Stadium.

Rafaela, who began the season at High-A Greenville, was promoted to Double-A Portland in early June. He is hitting .312 with a .354 on-base percentage and a .583 slugging percentage in 74 games with Greenville and Portland this season. Rafaela, 21, will enter Friday night's game with 16 home runs and 55 RBIs.

Since joining the Sea Dogs, Rafaela has posted .282./.331/.564 numbers with seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 117 at-bats.

Rafaela, who has started games in center field, left field, right field, third base, shortstop and second base during his professional career, was named the top defensive player in the Red Sox' organization following the 2021 season. He represented Boston in last Saturday's Futures Game at Dodger Stadium, where he played shortstop and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.

Rafaela is listed at 5-foot-8 and 159 pounds, and bats right-handed. He was signed for $10,000 as a 16-year-old international amateur free agent in 2017.

Other top prospects playing with the Sea Dogs:

Bryan Mata: MLB.com has Mata, a right-handed pitcher, ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the Red Sox' organization. Mata, 20, pitched in the 2018 Futures Game. He went 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 10 starts for High-A Salem this season before he was promoted to Portland in late June. He struck out 52 and walked 18 with 51.1 innings with Salem. Opponents batted .201 against him. He's 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA in three starts (16.1 innings) with the Sea Dogs.

Alex Binelas: Boston acquired Binelas, a 22-year-old corner infielder, in the Hunter Renfroe trade with Milwaukee last offseason. He was promoted to Portland on June 24, and his first hit at the Double-A level was a three-run home run against the Fisher Cats on June 30. He played at Louisville, and Milwaukee selected him in the third round (86th overall) of the 2021 MLB Draft. Currently rated by MLB.com as the No. 21 prospect in Boston's organization, Binelas is batting .220 with 19 home runs and 57 RBIs in 291 at-bats with Portland.

Christian Koss: An infielder/center fielder, Koss was acquired by the Red Sox in a 2020 trade with the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league pitcher Yoan Aybar. The Rockies selected Koss, 24, in the 12th round of the 2019 draft. MLB.com has Koss at No. 25 on Boston's list of top prospects. He's batting .280 with 11 home runs, 57 RBIs and a .323 on-base percentage in 304 at-bats this season. He hit a grand slam against the Fisher Cats on June 30.

rbrown@unionleader.com