I know it's only December. The NFL, NBA, and College Football are in full swing and baseball isn't for months. However, with the Red Sox' recent acquisitions, I deem it imperative to discuss the immense amount of potential we have as an organization.
Let me lay out the probable starting lineup for you:
1) Jacoby Ellsbury-One of the fastest, most entertaining players in Red Sox history. If he can stay healthy and put the ball in play, he'll be a great asset at the top of the order. He is also one of the most flashy and consistent outfielders in all of baseball.
2) Dustin Pedroia-Every year people keep doubting the little guy, yet every year he puts up monster numbers. Maybe it's time critics start believing in Dustin. Pedroia has a .309 lifetime average against right-handed pitching. Rather impressive.
3) Carl Crawford-When the Sox acquired Adrian Gonzalez I was content, but once we bolstered our roster even more with the addition of Carl Crawford, I was convinced; this is the year. Crawford is one of the few legitimate five-tool players in the league and he has an arsenal of talents.
4) Adrian Gonzalez-Sure, Mark Teixeira is good, but so is Adrian Gonzalez. When you compare their numbers over the past three years, the two stupendous sluggers have virtually identical numbers. Gonzalez quietly had a near .300, 30 homer, and 100 RBI season last year. Hopefully he can replicate those numbers under the scrutiny of Red Sox Nation.
5) Kevin Youkilis-YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK. (All I have to say. Everyone knows what a multi-dimensional, tenacious, Jewish, consistent player Youk is). Gotta love him.
6) David Ortiz-"Wait...back up a second. Is David Ortiz really batting sixth!?! He's the man!" Why yes, he is. The fact that Big Papi is batting sixth is a testament to exactly how deep this team is. Last year Papi had over 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in, much like Gonzalez. As a non-biased fan of the game of baseball, I can truly say that our 4-5-6 combo is the best in the game.
7) J.D. Drew-I've always said that Drew is the most average player in Major League history. Though this is somewhat factual, it's also somewhat erroneous. Yes, Drew is average at everything, however he's not bad at anything, which makes him a reliable right fielder on a team full of outstanding young lads (you follow? good.)
8) Marco Scutaro- "Scut. Hey, can we ask you to 'scut' down to the number eight spot?" Again, a testament to how stacked this team is. Scutaro had 38 doubles last year. That's more than anyone else in this starting nine. Interesting, huh?
9) Jarrod Saltalamacchia-Let me spell that again, just in case you missed it. S-a-l-t-a-l-a-m-a-c-c-h-i-a. (If you were wondering, yes it is the longest name in MLB history (except for Juan Pablo Martin Sanchez Coralamimadandatimafalainez of the Brooklyn Dodgers-I'm fully aware that was absolutely ridiculous. Excuse my obnoxiousness). The Sox recently signed Jason Varitek to a 1-year/2 mill contract, so it's presumable that he and Saltalamacchia (yes, spelled it right again without looking!) will split playing time. JS will get the majority of games behind the plate, but don't be surprised to see JV in there multiple times a week.
THIS LINEUP IS INCREDIBLE. If Beckett and Lackey improve, and Lester and Buchholz remain as dominant as they were last year, the Sox will be superb. Yes, I know it's only December, but Spring Training is less than four months away... There's a lot to be excited about in Beantown. The Celts are on fire, the Pats are unbeatable, and the Bruins are unflappable. But the Sox...well the Sox are unbelievable...and that's an understatement. (Like how I incorporated the un, un, un, un, un there? I was personally pretty proud of it).
Right now I'm invested in the C's and Pats, but when baseball season rolls around, I'll be excited. Theo Epstein and the rest of the ownership has compiled one hell of a lineup. This will be good.