By Pat O'Rourke @patorourke_29 on August 31, 2014
The 2014 season hasn't gone as planned for the Boston Red Sox. Coming off a World Series title, the team was expected to compete once again this season. That didn't happen, and the team ended up turning to the kids by early July. Here's five takeaways from those call-ups.
To call the Christian Vazquez-Blake Swihart debate at catcher a competition does a great disservice to the word "competition." The Red Sox have had their sights set on Vazquez for quite some time now, and we've all seen why that is with how he's played since being promoted to Boston in July. Expect Vazquez to officially win this "competition" in the winter when Swihart is shipped out as part of a blockbuster deal.
It's become trendy to rush guys through the ranks of the minor-league system. It's backfired in many cases (see Jackie Bradley, Xander Bogaerts). Meanwhile, the case has been made for giving guys more time before they get their shot at the bigs. Brock Holt, who has over 2,000 minor-league plate appearances, was the Red Sox's best player for a long stretch this season after being called up in May.
It's been said that if you have 20 pitching prospects, you'll be lucky if four or five pan out. The Red Sox -- who have an abundance of pitching prospects -- seem to be proving that premise to be true in 2014, as it has looked at many points that only a handful of these guys will have long major-league careers, with a good chance that none will be top-of-the-rotation starters.
The Boston Herald's John Tomase compared him to Andrew McCutchen, which might be a stretch. But one thing is for sure -- Mookie Betts is a big league player, and he should be up here to stay, be it in Boston or somewhere else.
The Red Sox are loaded with options. They can build around guys like Betts and Bogaerts or they can use the prospects as trade bait for stars like Giancarlo Stanton or Cole Hamels. Regardless, there's plenty of viable directions the Sox can go in.
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