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SoxProspects News

August 8, 2023 at 11:00 AM

July Players of the Month: Ceddanne Rafaela and Jedixson Paez

One well-known prospect in Ceddanne Rafaela (pictured, left) and one lesser-known prospect in Jedixson Paez (pictured, bottom right) took home the awards for July. It is a first-time honor for both Rafaela and Paez, who are currently enjoying productive summers with Worcester and Salem, respectively. 

Rafaela was, of course, promoted from Portland to Worcester in late June. In 22 July games with the WooSox, the right-handed hitter batted a stout .337/.378/.630 (144 wRC+) with eight doubles, two triples, five home runs, 19 RBIs, 14 runs scored, two stolen bases, three walks, and 25 strikeouts across 98 trips to the plate.

Even though the calendar just recently flipped from July to August, Rafaela has already matched his home run total from last month by homering in five straight games in Syracuse last week. Altogether, the 22-year-old has slashed .328/.379/.688 (154 wRC+) in his first 31 games (140 plate appearances) with Worcester while seeing playing time at center field and shortstop.

Rafaela, who turns 23 next month, originally signed with Boston for just $10,000 as an international free agent coming out of Curacao in July 2017. The Willemstad native was added to the Red Sox' 40-man roster last November and is currently ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the organization behind only Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, and Miguel Bleis

While there are legitimate concerns when it comes to his propensity to expand the strike zone at times, Rafaela has a chance to make his impact felt at the major-league level sooner rather than later on account of his standout defensive abilities. 

Paez, meanwhile, made four starts for Salem last month and pitched to a 0.90 ERA (1.97 FIP) with 20 strikeouts to zero walks over 20 innings of work in which he held opposing hitters to a .141 batting average against. On the 2023 campaign as a whole, the 19-year-old righty has forged a 3.36 ERA (3.91 FIP) with 51 strikeouts to nine walks in 14 starts (64 1/3 innings) with the Red Sox. 

A native of Venezuela, Paez signed with Boston for $450,000 as an international free agent coming out of Tinaquillo in January 2021. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound hurler throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of an 89-91 mph fastball that tops out at 92 mph, a 76-79 mph curveball, and an 82-84 mph changeup. At present, he is regarded as the No. 40 prospect in the system, which ranks 16th among pitchers. 

Photo Credit: Ceddanne Rafaela and Jedixson Paez by Kelly O'Connor