For the first time in 179 days, the Boston Red Sox will play regular season baseball.

The 2024 season has arrived with Opening Day as the Red Sox begin their campaign in Seattle against the Mariners. Though Boston likely has an uphill climb in a super-talented American League East, the roster presents several areas of intrigue.

As the season begins on Opening Day, here are four reasons to get excited about the 2024 Red Sox.

Young players are ready to produce
The future of the Red Sox is the young core, both with players who have already debuted in the show as well as the top prospects developing in the minor leagues.

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Jarren Duran established himself as a dynamic leadoff hitter who can impact the game in several ways in a breakout 2023 campaign. Wilyer Abreu and Enmanuel Valdez have shown flashes of quality offensive approaches upon arrival with Boston.

Young arms such as Kutter Crawford and Josh Winckowski both took legitimate steps forward a season ago and will have sizeable responsibilities on the staff for the Red Sox this season.

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As those players play to prove their worth in Boston, several Red Sox prospects are inching closer to major league opportunities of their own.

Two lefty sluggers will power the order
Triston Casas and Rafael could both hit 30 home runs as Boston’s primary run-producers in 2024.

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Devers did just that in a “down year” in 2023, barreling pitches as the centerpiece of the Red Sox offense. Across the diamond, Casas caught fire in the second half on his way to a third-place finish for the American League Rookie of the Year award.

Boston has finished as a top-10 offense in baseball for six consecutive seasons. Should that streak continue to seven, Casas and Devers will be huge reasons why for Boston.

Defense will improve
Improved work with the gloves is a massive priority for the Red Sox, who finished tied for the most errors (102) in the American League last season. Two players in particular will provide instant improvement in that department.

Trevor Story is healthy and reminded fans how much of a quality defender he truly is, accumulating eight defensive runs saved in just 43 games last season. Rafaela has exceptional range and play-making ability as a true center fielder, one who could be the future at that position for Boston.

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Brayan Bello takes center stage
The Red Sox have faith in Bello to emerge as one of the better young starters in baseball, signing him to a six-year extension during spring training.

The 24-year-old led the Red Sox in wins and innings in 2023, showing real potential that he has to spread across a full season’s workload this year.

Earning his first Opening Day start is significant. It’s now up to the right-hander to reward the Red Sox for their trust in his development.

Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images