Baseball 2014 preview

Red Sox place trust in their young talent

The Red Sox believe that a constant infusion of youth is what builds lasting success. Fortunately for them, they’re loaded with some of MLB’s most talented young players.

Dan Shaughnessy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/shaughnessy-15877.png Xander Bogaerts looks terrific, but ...

Bogaerts is unusually poised and mature and he’s a front-runner for AL rookie honors, but you just never know with young players.

Christopher L. Gasper

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chris_Gasper_150px-15840.jpg Expect the unexpected from 2014 Red Sox

If last year taught us anything, it’s that preseason presumptions and predictions don’t mean squat. Baseball shuns predictability.

INTERACTIVE GAME

Build your own all-time Red Sox rookie team

Delve deep into Red Sox history to build what you think is the best team of Boston rookies through the decades.

Bob Ryan

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/ryan90-15912.png AL East could be better than ever this year

The AL East has been beating its chest about how great it is for the entire 21st century, and I’m here to say this year may see it at its zenith.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_st21411_spts-15657--90x90.jpg In Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox may have their foundation

Bogaerts, just 21, could become to the Red Sox what Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are to their teams -- a young star who can be built around for years to come.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/xander2-15258[1]--90x90.jpg Xander Bogaerts’s roots in Aruba were humble

Aruba isn’t a baseball hotbed. So the Red Sox had to dig deep to discover Bogaerts, who is now a celebrity in his homeland.

Experts say Xander Bogaerts is just fine as shortstop

Some scouts look at the lanky Bogaerts and see a third baseman. But Cal Ripken and Derek Jeter say he’ll do just fine at shortstop.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_baseballpre21_spts-15637--90x90.jpg A minor detour for Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley set the bar high when he made the Red Sox out of spring training in 2013, but he’ll start this season in Triple A.

The Red Sox went 97-65 in 2013.

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

Meet the 2014 Red Sox

Will the Red Sox be the first repeat champions since the Yankees in 2000? Here’s a rundown of the roster.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/28/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/186237774--90x90.jpg How does getting called up to Red Sox work?

The Sox will need many players from Triple-A Pawtucket this year. Explore the mechanics of how those callups work.

MLB picks: Who will win World Series?

Can the Red Sox repeat? Our writers offer their postseason predictions.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/d880e6b6e9b44942835f4c20131969c2-d880e6b6e9b44942835f4c20131969c2-0[1]--90x90.jpg AL preview: Time for Royals to rise?

Is this finally the year that James Shields and the Royals break their long playoff drought?

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/13d8b2cf1db74ed38235edf09b9f6b69-13d8b2cf1db74ed38235edf09b9f6b69-0[1]--90x90.jpg NL preview: Cardinals again look poised for a run

Matt Holliday and the Cardinals are intent on making another run for the World Series this year.

Globe photos

Famous Red Sox rookie busts

Not every highly touted rookie pans out, as the Red Sox have learned many times through the years.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/a8d0d73895214912acadfb36a9b352d6-a8d0d73895214912acadfb36a9b352d6-0[1]--90x90.jpg Red Sox’ pipeline of pitchers runs deep

In Drake Britton, Matt Barnes, Rubby De La Rosa, Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, and Henry Owens, the Red Sox have a deep roster of prospects.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/25/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_baseballpre25_spts[1]--90x90.jpg Red Sox see lots of promise in young catchers

At some point, maybe even by next season, the Red Sox could have a homegrown catching tandem of Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/28/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/7fe3dda19a6c44c1ace4a6138abb0b17-7fe3dda19a6c44c1ace4a6138abb0b17-0-15956--90x90.jpg Who’s on deck in Red Sox minor leagues?

A look at what to expect in the pipeline from the Red Sox’ minor league affiliates.

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Red Sox prospects depth chart

A look at the hierarchy of highly regarded prospects that could eventually find a role in Boston.

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Graphic: Red Sox’ historic rookie duos

A look at some of the Sox’ impressive rookie duos since the historic debut of the Gold Dust Twins (Jim Rice and Fred Lynn) in 1975.

Fred Lynn, left, and Jim Rice helped the Red Sox to the World Series in 1975.

AP

No matching Red Sox’ Gold Dust Twins

All these rookies, it’s just like 1975 when the Sox turned over the middle of their batting order to rookies Jim Rice and Fred Lynn . . . right? Actually, no.

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Red Sox’ lineup inching up in age

The Sox will end a three-year streak of having a younger starting lineup (position players only) on Opening Day than the season before.

Red Sox rely on veteran voices on TV, radio

The man who provide the soundtracks for New England summers are polished now, but it wasn’t always that way.