After a one-year hiatus, the Red Sox rookie development program got underway on Monday at Fenway Park.
The program is designed to help familiarize young players with big-league life, both on and off the field. In the past is has been held for two weeks, but this year it will be a one-week course consisting of twice-daily workouts along with presentations from speakers both within and outside the organization. Former Sox catcher Jason Varitek, now a special assistant in the organization, will be one of the featured speakers.
The players chosen to participate are those the organization believes could impact the major league team within the next 18 months. This year, 11 players -- including highly regarded prospects shortstop Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley -- will be among the participants. Of the 11 players, nine were in the organization in 2012.
Also participating are pitchers Drake Britton, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and Steven Wright; catchers Daniel Butler and Christian Vazquez; infielder Brock Holt, and outfielders Bryce Brentz and Alex Hassan.
De La Rosa was acquired in the August blockbuster trade with the Dodgers. Holt was acquired in the December trade with the Pirates for closer Joel Hanrahan.
In addition to Varitek, the players are also expected to hear from Sox general manager Ben Cherington, manager John Farrell, pitching coach Juan Nieves, hitting coach Greg Colbrunn, special assistant Jason Varitek, strength and conditioning consultant Mike Boyle, mental skills coordinator Bob Tewksbury, and COO Sam Kennedy. Celtics coach Doc Rivers will once again be among the presenters this year.