Young folks

Young folks
February 28, 2013, 4:45 pm
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There’s been a lot of talk this “spring” about the Red Sox getting younger.

More specifically, about the potential emergence (or is it emergence?) of 20-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts and 22-year-old outfielder Jackie Bradley.

If you’re not yet familiar and/or excited about the future with these two, check out this video and it will get you properly lubed up.

JB Jr. and the X-Man.

Get used to it.

Right now, it looks like Bogaerts is at least a year a way, while Bradley Jr. will probably start the season in Pawtucket and earn a call-up sometime this summer. (Worst case-scenario, he’s the starting center fielder next season after Jacoby Ellsbury flees to the Cubs.)

Red Sox fans are ready for this, by the way. After all the craziness of the last two -- even five -- years, everyone’s dying for some new blood. To be able cheer for and build relationships with guys who had nothing to do with 2011; who can take nothing for granted because they still have everything to prove; who still love the game, haven’t been jaded by the media and are just looking to have some fun.

The fans need it!

And the team needs it.

This lineup is old. It’s slow. It’s packed with players who are already passed or fast-approaching the wrong side of 30.

Here’s a projected Opening Day lineup (note: I’m not married to the 3-4-5 combo):

CF Ellsbury (turns 30 this season)

2B Dustin Pedroia (turns 30 this season)

DH David Ortiz (36)

1B Mike Napoli (32)

3B Will Middlebrooks (24)

LF Jonny Gomes (32)

RF Shane Victorino (32)

SS Stephen Drew (turns 30 in two weeks)

C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (27)

By the end of the year, they’ll have only two guys in the lineup younger than 30.  That is, I guess, as long as the over-30 guys are still standing.

That’s probably not likely. But, with who the Sox have waiting in the wings, that also might not be a bad thing.