Blog Entry

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:24 pm

By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

One of the main reasons we came up with this exercise was because of the massive amount of fighting in the comments sections over who "buys" their teams instead of drafting and developing their own talent. In some cases, the accusations are true. In others, they aren't. While these Red Sox don't have Adrian Gonzalez or David Ortiz or Josh Beckett, you'll certainly see several key, familiar names.


1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. David Murphy, LF
6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Josh Reddick, RF

Starting Rotation

1. Jon Lester
2. Clay Buchholz
3. Justin Masterson
4. Anibal Sanchez
5. Carl Pavano


Closer - Jonathan Papelbon
Set up - Daniel Bard, Rafael Betancourt, Frank Francisco, Hideki Okajima
Long - Kyle Weiland, Daisuke Matsuzaka? (Not sure I could stomach that ... )

Notable Bench Players

Ryan Lavarnway, Lars Anderson, Freddy Sanchez, Engel Beltre

What's Good?

The top of the order is sick. If Hanley Ramirez had one of his good years, that's a top four that few in baseball could match. The entire pitching staff is really, really strong, too. Lester as an ace works fine and Masterson and Sanchez are pretty darn good in those slots. There was one point last season (May) when Sanchez was almost as good as anyone. Then you move into the bullpen and the back-end is what it was in 2011, with Bard and Papelbon. Here, though, we get to add Betancourt and Francisco to the mix. That's quite a bridge to Papelbon, and remember, this with a good rotation.

What's Not?

The lineup thins out quickly. It's not awful by any stretch, because Lowrie, Shoppach and Reddick are a decent 7-9, but Murphy isn't good enough to be a fifth hitter in a great lineup and we still can't be sure how Rizzo pans out. Also, there is no depth, either on the bench or in the bullpen. The onus is entirely on the main guys to shoulder the entire workload.

Comparison to real 2011

Let's avoid all the off-field crap and just focus on the issue at hand. Is this team better than the one that was in the AL playoff race until the final out of the season? The offense isn't as good, that's for sure. Most of the other spots are at least close, but the Rizzo/Gonzalez gap at first base is gigantic. Pitching-wise, though, this group is better, top to bottom. There's no Josh Beckett, but there also isn't a full season of John Lackey with mixed in Dice-K and then the spare-part injury replacements they had to use for most of the season. The real-life Red Sox won 90 games and this group feels like a similar one in terms of wins. It's not elite, but it's pretty good.

Next: Detroit Tigers

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Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:15 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

what is the point of this?  getting payed to be a writer on things that aren't relevant.
Well the point is... bah, nevermind.  I've got to get back to work, I need to payed in full.

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:00 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

xBombersx - I'm not going to nitpick your match up, since in general I think it's pretty fair EXCEPT the Youkilis one.  The only way Youkilis is just a "slight" advantage over Nunez if you assume he just can't stay healthy.   Even so, 120-30 games out of Youk is much better than 150 games out of Nunez. 

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:36 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Royals have already been posted.
and when they're posted. We're past halfway done, so most are linked up.

Since: Nov 13, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:21 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

I can't wait for the Homegrown KC Royals!  Oh wait, it might actually look like the current 2011 team, except we would have Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, and David DeJesus roaming the outfield with Alex Gordon. Zach Greinke would be back in the rotation, and Jeremy Affeldt would be our closer instead of Joakim Soria.  The Royals just haven't given up much in terms of Homegrown talent recently, because we had Allard Baird screwing everything up for so long.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:17 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

So lets see Yankees homegrown versus Red Sox homegrown:

C: Cervelli vs. Shoppach - Slight Adv Red Sox
1B: Montero vs. Rizzo - Adv Yankees
2B; Cano vs. Pedroia - Even
SS: Jeter vs. Lowrie - Slight Adv Yankees
3B: Nunez vs. Youkilis - Slight Adv Red Sox
LF: Gardner vs. Murphy - Adv Yankees
CF: Jackson vs. Ellsbury - Adv Red Sox
RF: Cabrera vs. Reddick - Slight Adv Yankees
DH: Soriano vs. Ramirez - Can we get another DH? Posada maybe? Where's Gary Sanchez?

Overall I'd say the lineups are pretty even, with Ellsbury and HRam being the main advantage for the Red Sox while younger infield bats for the Yankees like Montero and Nunez could turn the tides in the other direction. I'd give the overall edge to the Red Sox, which is one Kevin Youkilis injury away from being back to even with the homegrown Yankees.

SP1: Lester vs. Kennedy - Slight Adv Red Sox
SP2: Buchholz vs. Nova - Even
SP3: Masterson vs. Hughes - Slight Adv Red Sox
SP4: Sanchez vs. Wang - Adv Red Sox
SP5: Pavano vs. Karstens - Adv Red Sox

1-5 the Red Sox are clearly better than the Yankees, however 1-3 its pretty close. Lester is clearly the most polished player out of the group, while Hughes is the wildcard. If Phil Hughes could return to somewhat the form he had during his 2010 campaign, this would be a pretty interesting 7 game series.

Closer: Rivera vs. Papelbon - Slight Adv Yankees
8th Inning: Axford vs. Bard - Even
Bullpen: Robertson/Clippard/Melancon/Contrer

as vs. Betancourt/Francisco/Okajima  - Adv Yankees

The bullpen would be the Yankees saving grace here, its probably the best of the homegrown series. Any game that Hughes or Nova could scratch through 5 innings, the Yankees could still easily win with 5 potential closers on staff.

Overall I say Yankees in 7, Valentine would figure out a way to lose this series.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:09 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

what is the point of this?
For fun in the offseason. Lots of feedback indicates there are people who do enjoy it. If you don't, definitely feel free check out things you find relevant. We are still posting on all free agency news.

Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:04 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

This is better than their current team lmao!! 

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:50 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

I would say you could also exclue Ortiz from the notion of buying their team. He was released from the Twins and signed for 1yr 1.25M  in 2003. So really Ortiz is more of a credit to the Boston talent evlauators as well.

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:46 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

what is the point of this?  getting payed to be a writer on things that aren't relevant.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:09 pm

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox

Unproven Clay Buchholz? The guy who was an All-Star and finished sixth in Cy Young voting in 2010?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or