2011 MLB Preview: Boston Red Sox

Ryan Gaydos@@RyanGaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 3, 2011

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  First baseman Adrian Gonzalez #28 of the Boston Red Sox watches batting practice during a Spring Training Workout Session at the Red Sox Player Development Complex on February 19, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we will take a look at the brand-new powerhouse that is the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox made some mega moves this offseason that really shape their team for the 2011 season.

The Red Sox finished up last season rattled with injuries. Josh Beckett and Jacoby Ellsbury were two key players that were injured last season, which led to Boston finishing third in the AL East behind the Yankees and the Rays.

However, General Manager Theo Epstein made sure that the team got better and he went out and made some big moves. Epstein signed coveted outfielder Carl Crawford. Crawford played for the Rays for the first part of his career and was one of the top-hitting free agents available.

Esptein wasn’t done though. In the biggest trade during the offseason, the Red Sox acquired 1B Adrian Gonzalez for numerous prospects that included top pitching prospect Casey Kelly and top-hitting free agents 1B Anthony Rizzo and OF Reymond Fuentes.

Clearly, with these moves, the Red Sox are the top team in the AL East and could have a great shot at winning the World Series barring any injuries.

Key Addition: Carl Crawford, OF

Breakout Player: Daniel Bard, RP

Prediction: First AL East

Starters
CA: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Kevin Youkilis
SS: Marco Scutaro
OF: Jacoby Ellsbury
OF: Carl Crawford
OF: J.D. Drew
DH: David Ortiz

Pitching Rotation
SP: Jon Lester
SP: Josh Beckett
SP: John Lackey
SP: Clay Buchholz
SP: Daisuke Matsuzaka

RP: Tim Wakefield
RP: Matt Albers
RP: Hideki Okajima
RP: Dan Wheeler
RP: Bobby Jenks
RP: Daniel Bard
CP: Jonathan Papelbon

Bench
CA: Jason Varitek
INF: Jed Lowrie
OF: Mike Cameron
OF: Darnell McDonald

Top Prospects
1). Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
2). Jose Iglesias, SS
3). Felix Doubront, RHP
4). Drake Britton, LHP
5). Josh Reddick, OF

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