With a talented roster consisting of established stars, veterans with upside, a deep pitching staff and several rookies ready to make a serious impact, the 2014 Boston Red Sox have a diverse set of players on a team poised to make a repeat run at a title this season.
If the Red Sox are successful once again in 2014, you can be sure that free-agent signings such as Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, A.J. Pierzynski, John Lackey and Koji Uehara will have plenty to do with a repeat push. Yet homegrown products such as Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Will Middlebrooks, Felix Doubront and Xander Bogaerts will have much to say about how the '14 Sox fare, too.
It's that ability to both develop homegrown talent and acquire players on the open market that makes the Red Sox such a strong organization, and it's a trend that should continue thanks to a farm system that's as strong now as it's been at any point in the past decade.
With a bevy of talented players ready to contribute to 2014 and a good crop of high-upside players slated to hit in 2015 and beyond, the Red Sox have assembled a consensus top-five farm system, and it's a resource they'll look to draw on when in need of MLB contributors, valuable trade pieces and financial flexibility.
Based on my personal observations and consensus rankings from many of the Internet's most popular sources, here are how Boston's 10 best prospects stack up as 2014 begins.