With spring training winding to a close and the 2014 regular season just around the corner, it is time to take a quick look back at the Boston Red Sox and their plethora of talented prospects as the franchise moves toward Opening Day.
In the wake of their 2013 World Series championship, the Red Sox have another tremendous storyline on the books heading into 2014.
While much of the focus from Red Sox Nation has focused on the incumbent stars and fan favorites—guys like David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester—2014 may be the start of a shift in focus to Boston's up-and-coming talent.
Loaded with prospects, the Red Sox are poised to make a notable transition from aging veterans to young phenoms in the next few seasons.
To note that Boston is laden with young talent is an understatement. Anyone who has paid remote attention to the Red Sox recently could tell you this.
Yet let us dive a little further in evaluating where all that young talent stands, especially in regards to what the team is looking to do in defense of their World Series crown.
In this slideshow, we shall take a look at the top 10 prospects and their individual spring training performances.
For the purposes of clarity and consistency, we shall use the prospect rankings provided by Alex Speier of Baseball America.
Each prospect shall be evaluated on his individual spring training performance and then a prediction shall be assigned to each player, projecting his likely 2014 impact. Some, like Boston's No. 1 prospect Xander Bogaerts, will assuredly start with the Red Sox on Opening Day.
Others may be at the fringe of a major league roster spot, while others may find themselves continuously developing at the minor league level.
Finally, we shall assign a grade to each prospect. The criteria for such shall be determined on the individual performances during spring training based on statistics and other intangibles such as leadership, character, etc.
Let's get started.