A year into his new job with the Boston Red Sox, Dave Bush knows the stigma that follows him.

He can feel the young eyes on him when he enters the clubhouses in Lowell, Salem, Greenville or whatever minor league team he’s visiting that day. Some don’t see Bush for what he was: A 6-foot-2 right-hander who made a nine-year big league career with a high-80s fastball he knew how to locate. They don’t understand how it worked: Down and away for a strike, then work up from there. Every time.

Why not? That was the way they were taught to pitch back then, and while Bush knew it wasn’t always working, it was just about the only way to do it.

Nine years. More than 1,000 innings. Almost 800 strikeouts. Nearly 60 wins. Something near $13 million in total salary. Didn’t throw a single 95-mph fastball.

But how could the minor leaguers see that when they know what he represents within the organization? He’s the spreadsheet guy. He’s the analytics department. He walks in and makes a beeline for the pitching coach. Maybe after a chat with the coach, after studying a bullpen session and after sitting in the stands and digesting even more data during the game, only then will he sit down with the pitcher and talk to him.

If he’s done it right, it’s an easy conversation. Man to man. Pitcher to pitcher. Spreadsheets stay in the briefcase. The numbers are in Bush’s head, and he’s trying to subtly transfer them to the people who can use them most.

This is the new age of minor league pitching development. Bush knows what people might think of him, but he’s determined to shed the skin of an analytics man in order to help the Red Sox do what they’ve done just once in 12 years: Successfully develop a homegrown major league starting pitcher.

“It’s the thing we used to talk about,” Bush said. “We used to talk about a guy having an invisible fastball, or we wonder why a guy who throws 88 is getting swings and misses, but a guy throwing 95 is getting hit around. One of the things we do now is identify characteristics we used to be able to see, but weren’t sure how to quantify.”

Now they can. And Bush wants young players to understand it.

“I could just hand them a spreadsheet of numbers but it’s not going to make a difference,” he said. “But if I can translate that into words and phrases or anything they can use, we’ve got a chance to help.”

This offseason, the Red Sox are finally in the advantageous position of not having to sign or trade for a starting pitcher. Their rotation is full of stars. None of them were drafted or signed by the Red Sox. Two, David Price and Drew Pomeranz, are eligible to be free agents after the 2018 season. Chris Sale’s contract runs out after 2019.

To find good arms, the Red Sox must pay for them, in cash or prospects. Because developing them hasn’t worked.

Of the 12 pitchers to throw more than 40 innings for the major league club in 2017, only one of them, reliever Matt Barnes, was homegrown.

The Red Sox haven’t drafted and developed a starting pitcher that stuck in the rotation since Clay Buchholz, who was drafted in 2005. There have been 12 drafts since then, and the Sox have yet to develop a starter in any of them.

Before the arrival of Dave Dombrowski, who took over as president of baseball operations near the end of the 2015 season, the Sox “had a lot of young players come to the big leagues,” Dombrowski said. “The core players we have now, a lot of those are good players. But a lot of those were position players, which is fantastic. Not as many pitchers. So there were some thought processes going into the draft, with an emphasis there.”

Under Dombrowski, the Red Sox have taken starting pitchers with their first overall picks in back-to-back seasons. High school left-hander Jason Groome was taken No. 12 overall in 2016 and University of Missouri right-hander Tanner Houck was drafted at No. 24 this year.

Last November, Dombrowski hired Bush as a pitching development analyst.

With Brian Bannister already on board as an assistant pitching coach and vice president of pitching development, a title the Sox created for him, Bush became Bannister’s right-hand man with a focus on minor leaguers.

Bannister and Bush, two guys who threw in the high 80s during their careers, are hoping to analyze, digest and share information that can help end the Red Sox’ extended slump when it comes to nurturing young arms.

“I never threw as hard as I could, because I didn’t throw hard enough to do that,” Bush said. “Velocity across the board has picked up a lot the last couple years, so probably the fastball velo matters less and less. And a lot of guys – with the advent of better training and different arm care programs – amateur players are throwing harder than they used to. So we don’t necessarily look at amateur guys and project out the same velo increase than we would earlier.”

With machines that can track PITCHf/x data now in place at every minor league stadium, Bush can do most of his work from his laptop. He scours the data from rookie league to Triple-A Pawtucket, identifies patterns and potential adjustments and then shows up at the ballpark trying to share the news.

“A lot depends on who is pitching and what I’m looking for,” he said. “There’s no magic formula.”

When he gets to the park, he wants to talk to the coaches first.

“The pitching coaches are the ones who work with a guy day-in and day-out,” Bush said. “Anything I’m going to say is going to be filtered through the coach. As I get more comfortable it’ll evolve and sometimes there will be more conversations.”

Not every player looks at Bush and is excited to chat. But some players have been particularly receptive, he said.

“Baseball is not known for accepting change in a hasty manner,” Bush said. “But I also think there’s also a benefit for someone like me, who has been a player. I’m comfortable having that conversation. And it’s my responsibility to present information to them because I think it’s going to make them better.”

Groome, the organization’s consensus No. 1 prospect, spent much of the 2017 season dealing with injuries that limited him to 14 starts between Greenville and Lowell before being shut down in late August. Bush nevertheless said he’s seen great things from a player whose curveball has been compared to Clayton Kershaw’s.

“He’s 19, but he’s light years beyond where I was,” Bush said. “And beyond where most guys are at that age.”

Houck is a bit older at 21. He made 10 starts with a 3.63 ERA at Lowell this year.

“He’s interesting, a really big body, a very live arm, throws hard with a ton of movement on the ball,” Bush said. “Being 6-foot-5 with long arms, his thing is going to be refining his mechanics and keeping himself under control.”

Over time, Bush is hoping his ability to build relationships with coaches and players in the organization will let him have better conversations about the data.

It’s all about trust. If they trust him, he thinks he can help.

“But the game hasn’t moved off the field,” he said. “It’s just that we have more information at our fingertips and we can make more precise adjustments.

“A lot of people fear that players will become robots. I don’t want that to happen. The goal with analytics and pitch data is not to script development or script what happens in games. It’s to try to help the player do what he can do even better.

“What I try to remind people is that, you’re still pitching, you’re still the one in charge. We’re just trying to help.”