2014 would be best forgotten for Red Sox nation after a disappointing 71-91 finish. On-field talent appeared to be an issue for the team throughout the season, but depth was never an issue.
As odd as that may sound, the team had a number of talented players make appearances -- they just did not have enough great ones. In all, 55 men played for the Boston Red Sox over the course of the season.
Think about that for a second, 55 players. Given that the active roster is typically 25 men, they could fill over two teams with all those players.
Since injuries were not a huge issue for the 2014 team, it is safe to assume that on-field product was the biggest problem. Yes, that is true, but the amount of depth that the big league team has amassed is unreal.
Take September 25th for example. The Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 11-1 thanks to a quality start by Allen Webster who let up one run on seven innings of work. Bryce Brentz went 2-for-4 that day, Garin Cecchini scored two runs and both Christian Vazquez and Rusney Castillo hit their first ever big league homeruns.
In four September starts, Webster held his ERA low at 2.64 on 24 innings of work. To put it this way, he did not exactly impress the big league club enough to take a spot in the rotation full-time, but he provides excellent depth for the big league club.
Both Brentz and Cecchini hit well, but they too may not crack the Opening Day roster next season. Did they show they had the talent to do so? Absolutely, but it appears as though the pair will provide depth to the big league club once again next season. Think about it: if someone falls, these men are ready to step up and take their spots. Not only these two but many others as well.
Just to name some names: Steven Wright, Anthony Ranaudo, Heath Hembree, Drake Britton, Edwin Escobar, Matt Barnes, Jonathan Herrera, Jemile Weeks, Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Hassan, Dan Butler, and Will Middlebrooks all may provide Boston with big league depth in the minors next season. All of these men for the most part should make a compelling case to see a permanent spot on the big league club before or during the season. Regardless though, depth is always important and Boston has plenty of it.
Plus, there is the next wave of rookies set to take the stand. Guys like Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Noe Ramirez, Deven Marrero, Sean Coyle, Travis Shaw and many more could make their MLB debuts next season and provide the team once again with even more depth at the big league level.
To put it this way, the Boston Red Sox should feel good knowing that Anthony Ranaudo will likely be their seventh starter on the depth chart next season.
Now, the team must pick-and-choose from the 10 quality outfielders they have and condense that number down for next season by dealing a few away.