Meet the 2016 Red Sox

A look at the roster the Red Sox are expected to feature to begin the 2016 season.

Related: A closer look at how the 2016 Red Sox were built

Starters

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David Price LHP

  • Scouting report: Price is the ace the Red Sox have been missing since the trade of Jon Lester in 2014, with the added value of being a conduit for better team chemistry. His durability and consistency will improve what was a ragged rotation last season.

  • Fast fact: Price has a 3.09 career earned run average. Among active pitchers with at least 1,000 innings, only Clayton Kershaw (2.43), Adam Wainwright (2.98), and Madison Bumgarner (3.04) are lower and they have spent the entirety of their careers in the National League.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Sonny Gray.


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Clay Buchholz RHP

  • Scouting report: Undeniably talented, Buchholz has been equally frustrating with yearly trips to the disabled list and 60 missed starts over the last five seasons. When he does pitch, Buchholz has a 3.67 ERA since 2009 and two All-Star selections. cqThe Sox picked up his $13 million option for this season. But a $13.5 million option for 2017 will have to be earned.

  • Fast fact: Only David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia have been with the Sox longer than Buchholz, who made his debut in 2007.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Joe Kelly RHP

  • Scouting report: Kelly’s feel for pitching could finally be catching up to his talent. Demoted to the minors last season, he returned and showed a willingness to use all his pitches, particularly his curveball. That continued in spring training. One red flag: He has yet to throw more than 134⅓ innings in a major league season.

  • Fast fact: Kelly won eight consecutive starts from Aug 1-Sept. 9 last season, the longest streak for a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez won nine in a row in 1999.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Rick Porcello RHP

  • Scouting report: Porcello was 5-11 with a 5.81 ERA in 20 starts before the Sox placed him on the disabled list last season with a triceps strain. He was 4-4 with a 3.14 ERA in eight starts after returning, raising hopes his acquisition wasn’t a mistake. If Porcello can maintain the consistency of his sinker, he could return to league average.

  • Fast fact: Since his debut in 2009, Porcello has allowed 1,392 hits. Only Mark Buehrle (1,551), James Shields (1,516), and Jeremy Guthrie (1,473) have given up more in that time.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Steven Wright RHP

  • Scouting report: A rotation spot came open when Eduardo Rodriguez suffered a knee injury on Feb. 29 and Wright grabbed it, outpitching Henry Owens and Roenis Elias. The knuckleballer, now 31, is out of minor league options and must prove himself to stay with the organization. Working closely with Tim Wakefield has helped Wright learn how to quickly fix delivery issues.

  • Fast fact: Wright has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 11 starts in the majors. He usually gives the Sox a chance.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

Lineup

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Mookie Betts RF

  • Scouting report: Don’t put limits on how good he could be. Betts is capable of a 30-30 season and an OPS closer to .900 than .800. The switch from center field to right field was seamless in spring training. Betts’s defense could mirror what Shane Victorino gave the Red Sox in 2013 when he won a Gold Glove.

  • Fast fact: Betts had 42 doubles, 8 triples and 18 home runs last season. The last American League player 22 or younger to equal that was Ted Williams in 1940.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Dustin Pedroia 2B

  • Scouting report: Pedroia has been one of the better second basemen of his era. At 32, can he again carry the team for long stretches? A hamstring injury limited Pedroia to 93 games last season but he looked agile in spring training.Hitting second behind Betts will give him an opportunity to be a force in the lineup.

  • Fast fact: Pedroia has 45.1 career WAR, ninth in team history and closing in on Jim Rice (47.4). Among Red Sox second baseman, only Bobby Doerr (51.2) has more.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Xander Bogaerts SS

  • Scouting report: Remember when some people wondered if he should stay at shortstop? Bogaerts ranked as one of the American League’s best defensive shortstops last season, showing improved range and throwing mechanics. He also hit .320 with 45 extra-base hits and 81 RBIs. His .776 OPS was third among MLB shortstops. Look for an increase in power this season as he learns when to turn it loose.

  • Fast fact: At 22, Bogaerts was the youngest American League shortstop to win a Silver Slugger since 22-year-old Alex Rodriguez in 1998.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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David Ortiz DH

  • Scouting report: Ortiz, who turned 40 in November, has averaged 34 home runs and 105 RBIs with a .915 OPS over the last three seasons. No player over the age of 40 has ever hit 30 homers and drove in 100 runs. In what will be his final season, Ortiz remains a force in the middle of the lineup.

  • Fast fact: Ortiz needs 16 doubles to join Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players in history with at least 500 home runs and 600 doubles.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Chris Sale.

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Hanley Ramirez 1B

  • Scouting report: Has the problem child become a good citizen? Ramirez was a disaster in left field last season but has so far adapted well to first base and shown a consistent work ethic. The Sox were thrilled with his effort in spring training.

  • Fast fact: Ramirez was hitting .283 with 10 homers and 22 RBIs over 23 games before he injured his left shoulder running into a wall in left field. He hit .239 with nine homers and 31 RBIs over 80 games the rest of the season.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: “Whatever Papi said.”

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Travis Shaw 3B

  • Scouting report: A lukewarm prospect, Shaw was called up to the majors last season when the roster turned over because of injuries and trades. He responded by posting an .813 OPS over 65 games and was a lineup regular at first base for the final two months. Shaw reported to spring training ready to play and earned the starting job at third base.

  • Fast fact: The Sox really liked Shaw. They drafted him out of high school in 2008 and then again out of Kent State in 2011.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Brock Holt LF

  • Scouting report: An All-Star last season, Holt started 116 games at eight positions, including DH. With Castillo still struggling against big league pitching, Holt will start in left field against righthanders. He has an .803 OPS in the first half of the season over his career, .600 in the second half. So controlling his playing time could lead to better production.

  • Fast fact: Holt is the only player in Sox history to make starts at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, center field, right field, and left field in two consecutive years.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Blake Swihart C

  • Scouting report: Rushed to the big leagues last May, Swihart persevered, becoming better defensively over time and finishing the season with a .712 OPS. Swihart had an .805 OPS over his final 44 games after coming back from a foot injury in July. Swihart, 24 on Sunday, still needs plenty of seasoning, but his athleticism and intelligence suggest a bright future.

  • Fast fact: Swihart’s 78 starts at catcher were the most for a Red Sox rookie since Gary Allenson started 82 games in 1979.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

  • Scouting report: Bradley quietly enjoyed an efficient spring training, continuing the progress he made last season when he had 31 extra-base hits in 221 at-bats, 10 of them homers. Being more aggressive early in counts has paid off for him. Defensively, Bradley could give Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier a run for the Gold Glove.

  • Fast fact: Bradley has played only 232 of a possible 486 games the last three seasons. But he has been involved in 10 double plays, three more than any other major league outfielder in that time.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

Bullpen

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Craig Kimbrel RHP

  • Scouting report: Kimbrel was traded twice in a span of seven months, going from Atlanta to San Diego to Boston. The Red Sox plan to keep him. The 27-year-old is one of the best at what he does and was dominant in spring training. Kimbrel leads the majors in saves since 2011 and has averaged 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings in his career.

  • Fast fact: ERA is not necessarily a telling statistic for relievers. But Kimbrel’s career mark of 1.63 is the best ever for a reliever with at least 250 games.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Koji Uehara RHP

  • Scouting report: Uehara, who turned 41 on Sunday, is coming off a worrisome spring training. He was ill early on, then was sidelined with what was termed general soreness. This after missing the final two months of last season with a broken right wrist. If healthy, Uehara should be terrific as a setup man. He has a 0.77 WHIP the last three seasons.

  • Fast fact: Uehara has appeared in 180 games for the Red Sox and not allowed a run in 154 of them.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Craig Kimbrel.

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Junichi Tazawa RHP

  • Scouting report: The Sox did a smart thing last season, shutting down Tazawa for the final three weeks of the season. He was worn down and it showed in the decreasing quality of his pitches. Tazawa arrived at camp early and has looked strong, his fastball having regained its zip. He will be a free agent after the season and would like to stay with the Sox.

  • Fast fact: Tazawa has a 5.02 strikeout to walk ratio since his return from Tommy John surgery in 2011.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Koji Uehara.

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Tommy Layne LHP

  • Scouting report: Lefthanders have hit .159 against Layne with a miniscule .455 OPS. Since he entered the majors in 2011, Layne has faced 218 lefthanded hitters and only Chase Utley has homered of him and that was in 2013. Righthanders have hit .306 with an .878 OPS against Layne. So it’s evident how he should be used. His deceptive delivery and unique arm angle makes him a perfect specialist.

  • Fast fact: Layne’s 64 appearances matched Alexi Ogando for the most on the team last season

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Robbie Ross Jr. LHP

  • Scouting report: Ross appeared in 54 games last season, generally not in high leverage situations. He handled lefthanders better than he did righthanders but is competent enough against righties to pitch an inning or more, something he did 36 times in 2015. Ross became the closer in September and picked up five saves in as many chances. He’ll go back to middle relief this season.

  • Fast fact: Ross has a 3.45 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 192 relief appearances. He had a 5.70 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 12 career starts, all coming in 2014 for Texas.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Matt Barnes RHP

  • Scouting report: Here’s his chance. Barnes was a first-round draft pick out of UConn in 2011 and has yet to make much of an impact on the Sox, posting a 5.19 ERA in 37 games over two seasons. With Carson Smith on the disabled list, Barnes will get a chance to pick up important outs late in the game.

  • Fast fact: Barnes allowed one run and struck out eight over 10⅓ innings in his final eight appearances last season.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Noe Ramirez RHP

  • Scouting report: Ramirez arrived at camp with seemingly little chance of making the team but pitched well throughout. The 26-year-old appeared in 17 games last season, going 13 innings and allowing 13 hits with 13 strikeouts. His sidearm motion and four-pitch mix makes him tough on righthanded hitters. He allowed only three of 14 inherited runners to score last season.

  • Fast fact: Ramirez has a 2.28 ERA over 185 1/3 innings in the minors since the Red Sox moved him to the bullpen in 2013.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

Bench

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Ryan Hanigan C

  • Scouting report: Hand injuries limited Hanigan to only 54 games for the Sox last season. He opens the season as Swihart’s backup and figures to be the personal catcher for Joe Kelly. In 13 starts with Hanigan last season, Kelly had a 4.20 ERA. Hanigan is a top-shelf game manager and receiver. His presence can make a difference.

  • Fast fact: Hanigan has hit only .219 with a .622 OPS the last three seasons. His value at this point comes largely on defense.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw.

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Pablo Sandoval 3B

  • Scouting report: Sandoval had the worst season of his career in ’15, hitting .245 with only 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 505 plate appearances. He then reported to spring training looking out of shape, although the Red Sox claimed otherwise. He ultimately lost the starting spot to Shaw.

  • Fast fact: Sandoval’s on-base and slugging percentages have gone down for four consecutive years. His OPS was .909 in 2011. It fell to .658 last season.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: Madison Bumgarner.

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Rusney Castillo OF

  • Scouting report: The international man of mystery was signed for seven years and $72.5 million in 2013. Castillo has since posted a .680 OPS in 90 games. His supposed power (seven home runs in 309 at-bats) and speed (seven stolen bases in 12 attempts) has yet to materialize. Castillo was not particularly impressive in spring training and will open the season on the bench.

  • Fast fact: Defensively, Castillo has been a plus. He has been credited with 17 runs saved over only 703⅓ innings in the majors.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Chris Young OF

  • Scouting report: Young was a fixture with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2007-12, averaging 142 games a year. The Sox will be his fourth team in a span of four seasons since. He is a platoon player now, used primarily against lefthanders. Defensive metrics suggest Young should stay in left field. He has been below average in center field for the last three seasons.

  • Fast fact: Young has hit at least 10 home runs in each of the last nine seasons. Only 15 other players can make that claim.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

In reserve

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP

  • Scouting report: Rodriguez’s right kneecap briefly dislocated on Feb. 29, causing swelling. He was unable to get into a Grapefruit League game and will start the season on the disabled list. Rodriguez was 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA in 21 starts as a rookie last season.

  • Fast fact: Rodriguez was the first Red Sox lefty to beat the Yankees three times in a season since Babe Ruth in 1917. Ruth was 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA and five complete games in five starts against the Bombers that season.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Carson Smith, RHP

  • Scouting report: Smith will start the season on the disabled list because of a strained flexor muscle. The injury is expected to keep him out 1-2 months. The Sox saw Smith as a valuable setup man capable of getting big outs late in the game. His sidearm delivery makes him a tough matchup for righthanded hitters.

  • Fast fact: Smith averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings last season and had a groundball rate of 65.4 percent. That explains why opponents had a .539 OPS against him.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

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Christian Vazquez C

  • Scouting report: Vazquez had Tommy John surgery on April 2, 2015. The Sox stuck to their plan in spring training, bringing him back incrementally. He will start the season in the minors and could be ready for a return as soon as May. His advanced defensive skills could be one of the keys to the season. Vazquez would make the entire pitching staff better.

  • Fast fact: Vazquez threw out 15 of 29 base stealers in 2014, the best percentage in the majors among catchers who played at least 50 games.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

Manager

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John Farrell

  • Scouting report: Farrell has had an eventful eight months. He was diagnosed with stage 1 Non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt lymphoma in August and took a medical leave. His cancer was declared in remission by October. His personal life became a story in spring training when a local television reporter resigned amid questions about her relationship with Farrell. Now comes pressure to win right away.

  • Fast fact: Farrell is officially 246-240 with the Red Sox. That includes the 28-20 record Torey Lovullo had as interim manager last season.

  • Name the best pitcher in baseball: David Price.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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