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April 5, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Jerez, Ysla lead strong Portland relief squad as roster takes shape

The Double-A Portland Red Sox announced their initial 2016 roster today, led by two top 20 prospects in the bullpen. The Sea Dogs only have three players who rank in the top 20 according to SoxProspects.com, Williams Jerez (pictured, right), Luis Ysla, and Wendell Rijo. Jerez returns to Portland after finishing the 2015 season at the Double-A level, where he compiled a 3.65 ERA in 22 relief appearances. Ysla, acquired in a late season trade with San Francisco, will make his Sea Dogs debut after spending last season transitioning from starter to reliever with High-A San Jose (SF).

At the plate, Portland will be led by Rijo, who spent all of 2015 with High-A Salem, collecting 27 doubles and six home runs as a 19-year-old. Henry Ramos will return to Portland, looking to finally be healthy after coming back last season from a injury in 2014 that caused him to miss significant time. Also returning to Portland will be Tim Roberson, who showed promise last season, hitting .300 in 57 games last season with the Sea Dogs.

Besides the aforementioned Jerez and Ysla, Portland will feature a number of former high round draftees looking to put together a strong campaign, Teddy Stankiewicz, Ty Buttrey, and Kevin McAvoy will all be central figures in the Portland rotation, as the make the leap from Salem. Justin Haley will return to Portland after having a stellar showing in the Arizona Fall League. 

The full Portland roster includes:

Teddy Stankiewicz
Ty Buttrey
Kevin McAvoy
Justin Haley
Aaron Wilkerson
Williams Jerez
Chandler Shepherd
Luis Ysla
Simon Mercedes
Rob Wort
Mike McCarthy
Mitch Atkins 
Heri Quevedo

Jake Romanski
Tim Roberson
Ali Solis

Jantzen Witte
Wendell Rijo
Mike Miller
Tzu-Wei Lin
Jose Vinicio
Jordan Weems

Rainel Rosario
Cole Sturgeon
Henry Ramos
Derek Miller
Aneury Tavarez

Photo Credit: Williams Jerez by Kelly O'Connor