The Red Sox have not failed to develop talent. They chose to deal the talent they did develop away for big name players that didn't pan out. By year, here are the players that have become major league players for either the Red Sox or the team they were traded to or are highly regarded prospects considered likely to do so soon. (* means the player was traded)
2006: Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson*, Josh Reddick*
2007: Will Middlebrooks, Anthony Rizzo*
2008: Casey Kelly*, Ryan Lavarnway
So of the seven players who have seen major league time or are about to, four were traded away and play positions that the Red Sox have had to fill this off season with reclamation projects or average but not exciting players. If we had Masterson in the rotation and Kelly in AAA, Rizzo at first base and Reddick in right field, there would be a very different feeling about this team right now.
And here are the prospects who have panned out as having value as trade chips, have been kept and are considered decent bets to be major league players at some point or are getting mentions on top prospect lists right now.
2009: Poor draft year. You could make an argument for Miles Head, but it would be a stretch.
2010: Bryce Brentz, Garin Cecchini
2011: Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, Jackie Bradley
Then there are international signings like Xander Bogaerts, Junichi Tazawa, Tzu-Wei Lin, Hideki Okajima, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Jose Iglesias (you can argue that Okajima and Daisuke weren't developed, but even pulling them out of the list doesn't enforce your point).
Identifying talent from outside MLB and developing players has not been a problem for this franchise. Trading away that talent for veterans in the middle of or approaching the back end of their primes has been a problem, and even that has been more of an issue with identifying the right veterans to spend prospects on.
If anything, I'd say the biggest problem has been scouting at the major league level.
Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 26 January 2013 - 12:39 PM.