The Red Sox traditionally produce prospects as frequently as the Vatican selects a new Pope. Remember that dry spell from Nomar Garciaparra to Trot Nixon to Kevin Youkilis? Two impact players and one solid regular in a decade?

The exception was that magnificent stretch from 2005-08 when Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury arrived en masse to bring the Sox a World Series title.

Since then, however, the cupboard has contained ramen and saltines. The Sox barely produced a prospect of note between 2008 and last season when Will Middlebrooks burst onto the scene and reminded us what we’d been missing. Daniel Bard qualified until last season’s struggles, and the Sox clearly didn’t know what they had with Josh Reddick.


But times are changing. The Sox boast some of the most exciting prospects in the game, and it’s almost certain that more than one will impact the big league club this year.

There’s shortstop Xander Bogaerts, universally hailed as one of the top five or 10 prospects in the game. There’s right-hander Allen Webster, who boasts a 99 mph fastball and devastating sinker/changeup combo. There’s outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who may very well force his way onto the big league roster. There’s righty Rubby De La Rosa, acquired with Webster, a flamethrower with a great change of his own.

And those are just the guys on the cusp of the big leagues. From polished righty Matt Barnes to rangy lefty Henry Owens to cannon-armed catcher Christian Vazquez, the Red Sox are awash in the kind of talent that would make an organization like the Royals say, “Just wait until these guys get here.”