2023 has been an up and down season to this point. Many were disappointed in the front off for the lackluster offseason, and had low expectations coming in. The team could still make the playoffs but again, expectations remain low even if they do make it. No matter the outcome, Boston did show fans that the young talent is growing. Expectations are low now, but they are rising for the future.
A Trio in the Outfield
A young core of players is emerging, starting with a three-headed monster in the outfield. Masataka Yoshida has come into the MLB and proved the doubters wrong. Spraying the ball all over the field, he has shown to be an outstanding contact hitter and impossible to strikeout. Jarren Duran struggled to make the leap to the majors, but 2023 was the year he finally took that next step. He’s been electric on the basepath this season and has been a double machine when he’s hot. Alex Verdugo has been a great defensive outfielder for years now, but has also shown flashes of brilliance with the stick. When Verdugo is hot, there seems to be no pitcher that can keep him off the bases four times in a single game.
An Emerging Infield
The infield looks to be headed by Rafael Dever for the next ten years. Red Sox fans have become very familiar with what Devers is capable of in the box and he’s still 26 years old. At first base the Sox might finally have their guy. Triston Casas struggled to make the necessary adjustments for the first half of the season. Since the All-Star break he has found his swing and looked to turn himself into a quality power bat. Not to mention he can actually field his position, hallelujah.
The Pitching Staff
In terms of pitching, the team is putting the trust in the hand of young catcher, Connor Wong. He’s shown some power at the major league level, is a great defensive catcher and has a great relationship with his pitchers. The pitching staff itself has been the black eye of the team this season, but Brayan Bello has thrived, nonetheless. Looking to maybe be the first “ace” the team has developed since Jon Lester, Bello’s stuff, and the growth he’s shown has a lot of people excited for what he can do. If Chris Sale could stay healthy and if the rotation can be solidified this coming offseason, players like Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck, and Josh Winckowski can stay in the bullpen where they are far more comfortable and valuable.
Other teams like the Braves, Rangers, and Astros have shown the way to win is developing a young core. Although it was a bit of a messy process to get here, Boston is looking to be on the verge of achieving that goal. Some pieces still need to be brought in to solidify the starting pitching and middle infield, but Marcelo Mayer isn’t far from making the leap himself. We shall see what the future holds.