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I think most of us, even me now, have conceded the 2014 season as a lost cause. The Sox would have to go on a ridiculous tear to get even the 2nd wild card spot, let alone the division. Not only that, but at least a couple of the teams ahead of the Sox would have to emulate the Sox circa 2011. But one of the good things to come out of this year is getting to watch the emergence of several young stars. Several young guys could well be building blocks for the future and I'm going to highlight 4 guys who could be the 4 main blocks going forward.
Brock Holt: This one is, or at least it should be, pretty obvious. He's been highly successful as a lead off hitter this season. He's been highly successful, period. Not just with his bat, but he's been great with his glove as well. Remember the time he bailed out Jonny Gomes? If you don't, check it out below, courtesy of MLB's Youtube channel. And he's versatile, as well. He was called up as a 3rd baseman, but he's played just about every position since. A versatile player like that is a great guy to have, especially when he's still young like Holt is. He is slowing down at the plate somewhat, but he's still hitting .297 right now, which is solid. Looking to next season and beyond, he's a great guy to build around.
Christian Vazquez: He's shown some promise behind the plate and at the plate. He's caught 6 of 14 runners stealing, which is a percentage of .429. That's better than the leader in that category (Brian McCann, .414%). Granted, it's a much smaller sample size than McCann (24 for 68 for McCann), but still impressive, nonetheless. He has some promise at the plate as well. While he doesn't have a home run yet, his .250 average would be top 10 among catchers, ahead of McCann and Jason Castro (both .235), if he had been maintaining that pace for the whole season. But he's only been up for 26 games, but he's a guy I'd trust behind the plate to call a game.
Mookie Betts: Right now, he's hitting .250 in 15 games for Boston, but he's another young guy that I think could be a future building block if he gets better during the off season. He's defense is also pretty good, as evidenced by the double play he turned early last night. He's only made one error so far in 15 games, which is a good sign. And the power potential is there as well, but we'll see where that goes, but he's got the potential to be a big building block for the Sox.
Rubby de la Rosa: He had some great starts earlier in the year, but has regressed somewhat since, but I still think this kid could be a potential ace of the Red Sox staff he can get back to what was working for him early. His stats are a little concerning - 26 walks to 50 strikeouts, a 3.79 ERA and a .274 BAA. That needs to improve, but I think he can do it and become the ace of this staff. Or an ace if Jon Lester comes back.
Agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts below. There are definitely other players that could well develop into building blocks in the future. Let me know what you think.
All stats courtesy of espn.com.