There used to be a time with the Boston Red Sox where they seemed to be more interested in acquiring other teams’ castoffs and going after the big name free agent then actually building a farm system full of homegrown talent. Those days definitely seem to be long gone, and Boston seems to be churning out rookie after rookie.
Boston’s philosophy seems to be somewhat similar to the Atlanta Braves‘ back in the day. It appeared as though when a player left, they had another one waiting in the wings. In 2014, it certainly appears very likely that the Red Sox will be starting the season with two rookies in their regular lineup, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. It is still uncertain if Stephen Drew will be returning, but with the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury, it was very comforting to know that Boston has a major league ready center fielder, at least defensively, waiting in the wings.
This is how a well-run team should conduct business. Rather than trying to buy free agents and patch holes that way, it is a lot more affordable to have a strong farm system that can keep on producing rookies. Brandon Workman arrived on the scene this year and by the end of the season, was one of the big arms in the Boston bullpen. Drake Britton was another rookie pitcher who played a big role with Boston.
After this year, you have players like Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, Christian Vazquez, Devon Marrero and Mookie Betts who could make a serious impact with the Red Sox in the very near future.
Boston seems to have learned their mistakes from the Carl Crawford era.