Rodger’s Pick #2, Yoan Aybar. Lowell Spinners by Rodger M. Wood

Just turned 19 years old on July 3rd, Dominican outfielder Yoan Aybar is just now starting to grow into his 5-tool talent at Boston Red Sox Rookie A – NY Penn League Lowell Spinners.

He swings hard, and shows potential for lots of home run and extra base power. He runs like a gazelle in the outfield and has the speed to steal bases. Possessing a strong arm, he can gun down runners from deep cf or rf corners, and if not an outfielder, he could conceivably be developed into a pitcher. The southpaw can play any outfield position but would excel in tough to handle rf, where the hard hit balls sometimes curve away from his left handed outfielders” gloves.

At Lowell this season, the still growing 6-2, 185 youngster is still struggling to cut his long swing down, while at the same time hitting 198 BA, 2 2B, 2 3B, a HR and driving in 7 rbi in 96 AB in 26 GP.

As a 16 and 17 year old in 2014 and 2015 seasons, he played with the Red Sox DSL affiliate hitting 271 BA, 0 HR, 26 RBI in 56 GP in 2014, and 268 BA, 0 HR, 16 RBI in 157 AB in 45 GP.

In February, 2016, Baseball America rated Yoan the Boston Red Sox 22nd highest prospect.

He is also working on the rudiments of playing the outfield at Lowell, where he has caught up with 60 fly balls in 215 IP, but because he can catch up to lots of balls that others cannot, missed 4 tough chances.With his strong arm, he has thrown out 2 runners trying to stretch hits into another base or score from second.

Yoan is the type of young man you want to see succeed. He has not mastered English yet but with a happy, smiling face, he communicates understanding and lots of good feelings to fans, teammates, coaches, and friends. He tries hard, catches on quickly and is eager to please. Although having to model my gyrations, he excelled in his photo shoot, doing as well as Jacoby Ellsbury and many other soon to be major leaguers did in the past, With a conscientious attitude, combined with talent, once he’ grasps the nuances of major league baseball, this youngsters’s way to the majors will be accelerated, someday, I hope to be one of the best right fielders in Fenway history..

Rodger’s Pick – Chandler Shepherd, Pawtucket Red Sox

I decided to pick up on my "Rodger’s Pick" article on this my second road trip of the 2016 season.

i have seen all of the Red Sox top pitching prospects Baseball America, ESPN, and other journals have touted this season, LHP Brian Johnson, and RHP Henry Owens at AAA Pawtucket, RHP Ty Buttrey and Teddy Stankiewicz and LHP William Jerez and Luis Ysla at AA Portland, LHP Trey Ball and RHP Michael Kopec at Salem and Lowell, RHP Anderson Espinoza at Low A -Greenville. While all of them have major league talent,they are struggling and are not ready for the bigs. There is an untouted 23-year RHP at AAA Pawtucket, however, who is showing signs he is nearly ready for Fenway Park..

Chandler Shepherd is the complete package. Red Sox fans will love him. He is a pit bull on the mound, capable of filling any hole on the Red Sox pitching staff. has a three pitch repertoire, low 90 FB, above average breaking ball, and effective change up. While Craig Kimbel isn’t abdicating his stopper role very soon or Junichi Tarawa his set up role, Shepherd would be great insurance for the 9th inning stopper and 8th inning set up man or any other role in the bull pen.

Off the mound he is a polite young man, who jells well with the fans, signing autographs by the droves,and appreciative of the opportunity baseball has given him to succeed. He gives 100% on every pitch. He hustles to cover the 1B bag on balls hit to his right, or plays at the plate.

After achieving 6 saves, 39K, 10 BB, 1.80 ERA in 30 IP in 22 appearances at AA – Portland this season, Shepherd was promoted to AAA Pawtucket where in 6 appearances, 9.2 IP, he proceeded to get a save, 5K, 2 BB.

The 6’3" RHP has been groomed to put out the fires in the late innings at the University of Kentucky in 2012 – 2014, where he started only 10 games in three seasons, and professional career with the Red Sox at NY/Penn League Rookie A – Lowell (2014), SALLY Low A Greenville, Fast A – Salem and Arizona Fall League Scottsdale in 2015 where he started one game in 83 GP.

He may be ready by the minor league callup deadline for going up to a 40-player roster September 1st, just in time to help the home team win their division and go strong into the playoffs.