Being a defending champ in the minor leagues often times is in name only. The quest of most minor league teams is to develop talent--and move them to the next level, with hopes of course..of eventually stocking the major league team with talent. For the Carolina League Champion Salem Red Sox, you could argue that both winning--and developing talent are happening in equal measure.
The Red Sox met the media, then stepped through practice at Salem Memorial Stadium on Tuesday in advance of their season opener at Myrtle Beach on Thursday night. The Sox sport a new GM in Ryan Shelton, and a new skipper on Carlos Febles. Neither is new to Salem--Shelton had served on staff for years and Febles was the hitting instructor here back in 2009 and 2010 before becoming a manager in Greenville.
The Sox return 12 players that helped them win the Carolina League title, and they will start the season with plenty of experience. Odds are---some of that talent will be moving on--but for now at least, the Sox stand as good bet to defend that title. The home opener against Winston-Salem is set for April 9th.