As we get closer and closer to 2018, Spring Training is rapidly approaching.
We’ve talked about how the Red Sox have a few up and coming pitchers in the lower levels of the minors with Jay Groome, Tanner Houck, and in the upper levels with Mike Shawarayn and Jalen Beeks in AA and AAA, but it’s Chandler Shepherd who could be making his debut in 2018.
Shepherd, a right-handed pitcher, was drafted by the Red Sox in the 13th round of the 2014 Draft out of the University Of Kentucky where he spent three seasons as part of the Wildcat’s pitching staff. His journey also included spending a summer as part of the Cape Cod League where he was viewed as a potential Top 100 prospect, and was eventually deemed the 46th overall prospect in the prestigious league.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9s07En2wMI]
Shepherd, features an arsenal which includes a 91-93 mph fastball, touching 95, in addition to a solid change-up. However, it’s his slider that is his go-to pitch.
After signing, Shepherd began his Red Sox career as part of the Low-A, Lowell Spinners appearing in 16 games that summer, pitching in 33.3 innings where he struck out 35 and walked only 8.
In 2015, he’s continued to rise through the minors with stops in both Greenville and Salem. The following season he had a short stint in AA with the Portland Sea Dogs and has since spent the remainder of his time in Pawtucket.
As part of the Pawsox pitching staff, he appeared in 34 games, pitching in 59.2 innings, striking out 68, while walking only 18.
Earlier this off-season he was added to the Red Sox 40 man roster in order to protect him from being selected as part of the Rule 5 draft.
Shepherd is most likely going to be heading to his first Red Sox spring training as a Non-Roster invite. If he impresses Dana Levangie and Alex Cora, he may earn himself a mid-season call up if the rotation begins to thin out.
The young prospect’s versatility will add plenty of value to his stock, though he may finally hit his stride in the starting rotation.