Rafaela scores from first ... on a pitch in the dirt?

July 28th, 2023

Blinking during the fourth inning of Thursday night's Triple-A Worcester game might have been a big mistake.

Because in just over 11 seconds, zipped around the basepaths. Basically, it probably took less time for the No. 79 overall prospect, per MLB Pipeline, to dash from first base to home plate safely than it took to read this sentence.

Trailing against visiting Rochester in the bottom of the fourth during an eventual 6-5 loss at Polar Park, Rafaela looked to be aggressive after singling to right field with nobody out. With righty José Ureña (Nationals) on the mound, Boston's No. 2 prospect stole second base to put himself in scoring position. While attempting to throw him out, catcher Drew Millas (WAS No. 28) skipped the ball in the dirt and it skirted into the outfield, allowing Rafaela to make a beeline toward the hot corner.  

While rounding third, Rafaela noticed center fielder Derek Hill making a soft relay throw to the cutoff man. So the 22-year-old finished his charge home to score the run.

Worcester broadcaster Jay Burnham promptly declared Rafaela to be the "most exciting man in Minor League Baseball." And after watching those 11 seconds, it's tough to disagree.