Blog Entry

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:24 pm

By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

One of the main reasons we came up with this exercise was because of the massive amount of fighting in the comments sections over who "buys" their teams instead of drafting and developing their own talent. In some cases, the accusations are true. In others, they aren't. While these Red Sox don't have Adrian Gonzalez or David Ortiz or Josh Beckett, you'll certainly see several key, familiar names.


1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. David Murphy, LF
6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Josh Reddick, RF

Starting Rotation

1. Jon Lester
2. Clay Buchholz
3. Justin Masterson
4. Anibal Sanchez
5. Carl Pavano


Closer - Jonathan Papelbon
Set up - Daniel Bard, Rafael Betancourt, Frank Francisco, Hideki Okajima
Long - Kyle Weiland, Daisuke Matsuzaka? (Not sure I could stomach that ... )

Notable Bench Players

Ryan Lavarnway, Lars Anderson, Freddy Sanchez, Engel Beltre

What's Good?

The top of the order is sick. If Hanley Ramirez had one of his good years, that's a top four that few in baseball could match. The entire pitching staff is really, really strong, too. Lester as an ace works fine and Masterson and Sanchez are pretty darn good in those slots. There was one point last season (May) when Sanchez was almost as good as anyone. Then you move into the bullpen and the back-end is what it was in 2011, with Bard and Papelbon. Here, though, we get to add Betancourt and Francisco to the mix. That's quite a bridge to Papelbon, and remember, this with a good rotation.

What's Not?

The lineup thins out quickly. It's not awful by any stretch, because Lowrie, Shoppach and Reddick are a decent 7-9, but Murphy isn't good enough to be a fifth hitter in a great lineup and we still can't be sure how Rizzo pans out. Also, there is no depth, either on the bench or in the bullpen. The onus is entirely on the main guys to shoulder the entire workload.

Comparison to real 2011

Let's avoid all the off-field crap and just focus on the issue at hand. Is this team better than the one that was in the AL playoff race until the final out of the season? The offense isn't as good, that's for sure. Most of the other spots are at least close, but the Rizzo/Gonzalez gap at first base is gigantic. Pitching-wise, though, this group is better, top to bottom. There's no Josh Beckett, but there also isn't a full season of John Lackey with mixed in Dice-K and then the spare-part injury replacements they had to use for most of the season. The real-life Red Sox won 90 games and this group feels like a similar one in terms of wins. It's not elite, but it's pretty good.

Next: Detroit Tigers

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Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:15 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

what is the point of this?  getting payed to be a writer on things that aren't relevant.
The point is to show how a team would look without adding free agents, and making trades... 


Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:05 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Out of curiosity does that make joba a proven starter, i mean he does have similiar numbers to clay?

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:58 am

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Ok  fine clay had proven he can pitch in the majors he just has proven he can do it well on a consistent basis.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:52 am

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

You can make up your own definition of "unproven" if you want, but baseball people use "unproven" when a guy has never shown he can do it at the major-league level. This "2 full healthy back to back seasons" thing is yours, not an industry standard.

I'll give you an example. Go find someone -- ANYONE -- of any credibility who says the Braves currently have an "unproven" closer. Good luck in your search. It will take a while.

- Matt

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:44 am

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Eye On Baseball

One good year does not make you proven. Look how many players have one great year then become nothing. Until you can have 2 full healthy back to back seasons of solid performances, you are unproven. And the fact you think one season makes someone proven makes me wonder how you got a job to begin with.

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 9:10 am

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

After anazlying based on war and woba the yankee linneup has 2 less impact hitters but a more rounded lineup overall and condsidering i left reddick, rizzo, cervali/romine, and montero off the liist, they may perform similiarly next year as montero has more potential than rizzo and reddick. But right now they have the better offense, in terms of War the redsox lineup/ defense performed 2.4 wins better than the yankees combo with those four players not being counted for obvious reasons.

Pitching wise kennedy dominated lester last year, in basically every catergory but overall i'd say they have the potential to be even.

Number 2 Despite what matt wrote having one flukish cy young season where you keep your hr rates freakishly low is not being proven as it stands clay and nova put up similiar numbers last year  before clay got hurt, Even in his great yr clay's fip was just 360 which is a mark i think nova can match, so they're even. Despite clays 4.30 fip this year.

Number 3 hughes vs masterson hughes battled injuries and was inefffective last year so the advantage goes to masterson.WHo might of had a breakthrough year last year. Though his second half much like hughes second half in 2010 werent great.

Number 4- Sanchez vs Karstens, advantage rs. By quite a bit 1 rin in fip.

Number five should go to pavano right now because wang has to prove he is actually back.

backup rotation plans, The yankees have several starters in top 100 list, and the redsox i believe have 2, in kelly and ranuado, who wont be ready next year, or at the very least are below banuelas, betances, and vizcanio in terms of development. Beyond the top 100 the sox have weiland and tazawa while the yankees have noesi, warren, phelps. and i guess mitchell. So depth wise the yankees win which is important when you have wang, sanchez, and pavano in your rotation. Npt to mention the yankees have joba who's career numbers as a starter are similiar to both bucholtz and masterson numbers with a fip difference of like .010.

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:28 am

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Youk, jeter and melky are all considerably better than the players you compared them too. I would even say that Karstens is better than Pavano.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:51 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

The starting rotation is much deeper than the Red Sox current rotation and younger too. This is a rotation I would take over the current any day for financial reasons and longterm commitment and of course they will be around a lot longer.

The lineup blows. I can see why they would put Hanley at DH. You won't have to worry about him hustling on defense, just only when he is running the bases. I wouldn't put him at cleanup though. At best Hanley is a number 2 or number 6 hitter which he probably will become this year with the Marlins if he don't get traded.

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:32 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

what is the point of this?  getting payed to be a writer on things that aren't relevant.
Says the person that is doing it for free.

Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:26 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Actually the difference between Nunez and Youkilis isn't as big as you would think. Youkilis has no speed on the basepaths and his advantage in the batter's box looks smaller when you think of how he played last season, regardless of injury. Dude needs to step it up in 2012 or he'll find himself in the ranks of over-rated players.

As a neutral observer I think that XBombersX was pretty fair. The only issues I'd have are calling Nova vs. Buchholz "even", and perhaps the difference in Hughes vs. Masterson is more than "slight advantage Red Sox". Phil Hughes has reached his ceiling, and it is pretty clear that his control, or lack thereof, makes his a somewhat low ceiling. At this point Masterson is no gem either, but he has much better command most days and he has it on a much more consistent basis. It is fair to say that Hughes has stretches where he is flat out wild.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or