Single-A might be the most difficult level of the minor leagues to explain to someone who isn't a baseball fan. Boston Red Sox fans, though? They definitely know.
People are interested in it because it's where most young stars get their first exposure. You might see a recently drafted high school prospect or an international talent getting their first taste of professional baseball.
However, you're also very far away from the Major Leagues. A lot of these guys are teenagers. Due to that, it's not always the most polished product. It's also hard to judge someone based on their actual stats.
Roman Anthony is the perfect example of this. His Single-A slash line in 2023 was pedestrian, but he was promoted due to characteristics and stats you don't see, like his plate discipline, swing choices, and exit velocity.
It's even trickier for pitchers. Good numbers are obviously a positive, but bad numbers don't bury them. The team might have a pitcher working on his velocity, arm angle, step, control, or even adding a new pitch. With all of that to pay attention to, stats come second.
A non-fan might see all that and think there's no point. All of that is too confusing to deal with. However, anyone who watches Single-A understands. It's simply just fun to watch players grow from the very beginning. See what they improve on and if you notice the little things in their game that might make them special.
Luckily for fans of the Red Sox, 2024 shouldn't be short on intrigue. There's plenty of talent coming in from the 2023 draft and the FCL/DSL as well as players returning from injuries.
Who/what will create the biggest storylines of the season, though? The Salem Red Sox roster features some of the team's best unproven young talent. Surely, there will be more than enough to talk about in 2024.
Let's go through that roster, potential additions and promotions, and maybe even something to do with the stadium, to find out.