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November 27, 2015 at 7:00 AM

2015 Top 40 Season in Review: Garin Cecchini and Yoan Aybar

This week, we recap the next six players in the season-end Top 40, going from 34 to 29. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.

#30 Garin Cecchini, OF/3B
2015 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox; Boston Red Sox
Final Stats: 469 PA, .213/.286/.296, 7 HR, 40 BB, 100 K (minors); 4 PA, .000/.000/.000, 0 HR, 0 BB, 3 K (majors)
2015 Peak Ranking: 12 (April 9)
Season in Review: 2014  | 2013 

Season in Review: 2015 was unquestionably Cecchini’s worst season as a professional. His star was quite bright at one point, peaking as the third-ranked prospect in the system after an impressive 2013 season. However, he struggled in 2014 and those struggles only got more pronounced this season. While at Triple-A, he posted career worst marks in every rate stat, despite repeating the level. His calling card at one time during his career was his excellent batting eye and approach, but even that regressed in 2015 with more than twice as many strikeouts as walks. The struggles began right from the outset, with a slow start leading to a .188/.266/.286 line through the end of June. He did manage to put together a strong period between July 6 and August 6, hitting .341/.398/.429, leading to a brief stint in the majors. Perhaps losing confidence after striking out in three of four major league at-bats, he finished the year with only 11 hits in his last 60 at-bats. This year, Cecchini added to his defensive versatility, adding first base to his previous repertoire of third base and left field. -William Woodward

Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: Cecchini has really only ever had one carrying tool in his overall profile, which had been the hit tool. Cecchini hit at every level, including his first taste of Triple-A in 2014, before falling off in the second half  and then continuing to struggle for all of 2015. Cecchini has a line-drive stroke and is at his best when he is driving the ball up the middle and to opposite field with hard contact and line drives into the gaps. Cecchini has an overall advanced approach at the plate but has shown a tendency to be too passive at times. He can also lose his approach in an effort to pull the ball and sell out for power, which leads to him opening his hips early, thus getting caught out in front of pitches and producing weak ground balls to the right side. Perhaps most concerning is the noticeable difference in Cecchini's approach versus left-handed pitching: he now looks significantly less comfortable and consistently flies open early and collapses on his front leg. Cecchini will look to get himself back on track in 2016 as he begins to understand the type of hitter that he is and focuses on the middle-opposite field with his line-drive stroke. That said, Cecchini will likely continue to struggle against left-handed pitching and the overall defensive profile at third base, left field and first base is below average across the board, leaving Cecchini with limited value and troubling projection as an everyday-type player. - Chaz Fiorino

#29 Yoan Aybar, OF
2015 Teams: Gulf Coast League Red Sox
Final Stats: 169 PA, .268/.298/.338, 0 HR, 7 BB, 46 K, 6 SB
2015 Peak Ranking: 22 (July 31)

Season in Review: Yoan Aybar has lots of physical potential which led to his $450,000 signing bonus in 2013, but he is still very raw. He showed both sides of that through the course of the 2015 season. Appearing stateside for the first time in his career, the 18-year-old got off to a great start in the Gulf Coast League along with several other players on the roster. From the start of the season, on June 22nd, through July 21st, he was on fire, hitting .351/.370/.432 while only striking out 14 times in 81 plate appearances. His performance sharply declined after that point, and over his final 88 plate appearances he only managed to hit .193/.230/.253 with 32 strikeouts. The speed aspect of his game is also a work in progress as he managed to swipe six bases this year, but was caught an equal amount of times. Both his early season success and late season struggles showed the same aggressive approach, as he walked in only 4.1% of plate appearances, down from 4.8% in 2014. - William Woodward

Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: Listed at 6-foot-2, 165 pounds, Aybar is presently very lanky and skinny, albeit at only 18-years-old. Aybar is extremely raw and extremely far off developmentally. Aybar is a left-handed bat that shows quick hands but lacks any sort of approach and lacks the present ability to recognize or hit off-speed pitches. Aybar will always have well below-average power and his hit tool probably projects as a fringe-average at best. Aybar's most impressive tools so far have been the arm strength seen from right field and the ability to range and cover ground in the outfield. Aybar shows first-step quickness and athleticism in the outfield which should project as at least average. He is an average runner who does not project to steal a significant number of bases. Overall, Aybar is a high-risk prospect with a large developmental gap between where he is now and what he could be after some physical maturation and continued instruction. - Chaz Fiorino

Photo credit: Kelly O'Connor