If it’s not obvious, I’ve been trying to focus on players who were already called up. Sure, I went over a few guys who haven’t been called up yet — hello, Wyatt Langford fantasy — but if a player is called up already, then they’re in better position to start the year with the big league club. For redraft leagues, this is the most important thing. Are at-bats more important than actually being good? Well, no, but all of these rookies are good. The difference between a great rookie and great rookie with playing time is everything. It’s the difference between hundreds of spots in ADP. And well it should be! In a redraft league, I don’t want a rookie that I have to sit on for weeks or months. It’s why you might’ve detected some pessimism while getting my Jacks-off like Michael Hutchence in the Jackson Chourio fantasy and Jackson Holliday fantasy. Oh, they can be great, but for 2024 fantasy baseball: A Jackson or Ceddanne Rafaela? Well, it’s not quite that easy. Do you have bench spots to stash a Jackson? Because when they’re called up, they should be better. Holliday, specifically, will have six weeks of at-bats — and stats! — to make up for overall 2024 fantasy baseball value when it comes to him or Ceddanne Rafaela. Last year, Rafaela was called up and saw 83 ABs with a 2 HRs, 3 SBs and .241 line. His strikeout rate was also 31.5%, but, honestly, the only thing that matters there is that he was called up. So, what can we expect from Ceddanne Rafaela for 2024 fantasy baseball?
First, a moonshot:
— MLB (@MLB) September 12, 2023
Last year, in the minors, he hit 20 HRs in 108 games (60 games at Double-A, other 48 at Triple-A). That’s not a guy getting cheated. Sir, nice boomstick. That went with 36 steals across those two levels. Ced-dang! What’s up with that thang? I wanna know, how does it–okay, now I’m just singing Salt N Pepa. Here’s what Itch said previously, “An excellent defender with elite hands and good speed, Rafaela has been adding power and plate skills the past few seasons. Even reduced his strikeout rate 5.9 percent from High-A to Double-A. Could be an impact piece for us and the Red Sox this year. Seems to me he represents the new prototype in the organization. One of the key lessons Chaim Bloom brought with him from Tampa is prizing plus defenders who run well and can play multiple positions while developing into tough outs in the batter’s box. Speaking of which, I’d love to box Grey.” Okay, not cool.
It’s cool that Itch mentioned the ‘prototypical Rays’ hitter’ (and why I repeated what he said here), because that was exactly who Ceddanne Rafaela struck me as. “Is that Ceddanne Rafaela or Josh Lowe?” I ponder with my hand on my chin. “Is that Ceddanne Rafaela or Isaac Paredes?” I question the air so you get the picture. Ceddanne could be a tough out with power and speed. That’s appealing, said the recently undressed banana. Speaking of his speed:
Ceddanne Rafaela just scored from first … on a pitch in the dirt?!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 28, 2023
Rafaela also has a solid glove, which will come in handy (pun? Maybe!), because I could see him floating around the field, and playing everywhere vs. just as the center fielder or shortstop or 2nd baseman. As of right now, I don’t see a carved out spot for him in the lineup but continuing with the Rays’ theme, he could find 400 ABs from all over the order and field. Don’t love that in general from a fantasy aspect, unless it’s a daily league where you can move him in and out of your fantasy lineup when he plays. For 2024 fantasy, I’ll give Ceddanne Rafaela projections of 49/13/44/.254/19 in 367 ABs with a chance for more.