PORTLAND — The long-standing appeal of clutching an April ticket to a Portland Sea Dogs game in your frostbitten fingers is the knowledge that you are bound to observe a blue-chip prospect on the fast track to Boston.

In fact, you’d better catch them while they’re hot and before the weather gets warm. Jacoby Ellsbury (2007) and Xander Bogaerts (2013) each leapfrogged from the opening-day lineup in Double-A to an everyday gig with a World Series-winning team that October.

A year ago, Mookie Betts christened his red-hot season with a leadoff home run and didn’t stop until he’d belted five round-trippers for the parent club.

There’s still ample reason to get to Hadlock Field for tonight’s 22nd Sea Dogs season opener against the Reading Fightin Phils (6 p.m., weather permitting), but there’s a better chance than usual of getting to know these guys over the longer haul.

Portland won’t start the Eastern League campaign flaunting any of the elite prospects in the Red Sox organization. Although there are four Sea Dogs in Baseball America’s rundown of Boston’s top 30 minor-leaguers, second baseman Carlos Asuaje leads the group at only No. 25.

“With the way the organization recruits and scouts players, the way we teach, I think we will be in a lot of ballgames,” Sea Dogs manager Billy McMillon said Wednesday at the team’s media day. “The composition of the team is going to be a little bit different. We don’t have those quote-unquote top, super prospects, but everybody in this room I think has some major league value.”

In his first season as Sea Dogs skipper, McMillon guided Portland to its first winning season since 2008 and a franchise-record 88 regular-season victories. Binghamton ousted Portland, three games to two, in the division championship series.

Betts, now starting center fielder for the Red Sox, passed through along with anticipated future stars Travis Shaw, Deven Marrero, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens and Brian Johnson. Owens spun a no-hitter in the 2014 opener.

This year’s Sea Dogs have a distinctly different look. Only four players on the 26-man roster announced Tuesday — starting pitcher Mike Augliera, reliever Robby Scott, catcher Michael Brenly and outfielder Keury De La Cruz — spent the entire 2014 season in Portland. Eight others played here part of the spring or summer.

“Last year we had a pretty darn good team. It’ll be tough to follow, but I think we’ve got a good squad here,” Brenly said. “Billy’s back, and he’s a great coach. He keeps us on track and lets us have fun at the same time. It will be fun to get out there and play for real.”

Augliera was 8-10 with an 4.56 ERA but led the team in starts (24) and innings (148). His walks-to-innings ratio also topped the Eastern League.

He’s joined in the Sea Dogs rotation by Mike McCarthy (10-4, 4.82), Luis Diaz (3-4, 3.72), Justin Haley (3-2, 1.19) and William Cuevas (2-6 at Class-A Salem). Pat Light (6-6 in Salem) also should make his mark. Haley is Boston’s No. 28 overall prospect, according to Baseball America. Light ranks No. 30.

Scott was second on the club with 35 appearances and weaved a splendid 8-2 mark with a 1.96 ERA and three saves, working almost exclusively out of the bullpen.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces compared to last year. Some of these guys I’ve never really played with and really don’t know,” Scott said. “It’ll be a learning experience getting to know everybody. Any other team at any other level, though, people are new to each other.”

Outfielder Henry Ramos, a fifth-round draft choice in 2010, will anchor Portland’s lineup. Ramos batted .326 in 48 games before fouling a pitch off his right leg, breaking the tibia. Ramos’ outfield arm is considered the best in the organization.

David Chester, hard to miss at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, belted seven homers for Portland after an early-summer call-up. Mike Miller (.301 in 23 games) also saw time in the Portland infield a year ago.

“I got to spend most of the year here. We had some good guys and did a lot of good stuff,” Chester said.

Those two will see time in what promises to be a productive infield. Jantzen Witte led the Sox system with 153 hits, including 44 doubles. Asuaje was right behind him with 149 combined hits in Greenville and Salem. Marco Hernandez, a Florida State League all-star at shortstop, was acquired from the Cubs to complete the trade for former Sea Dogs and Red Sox lefty hurler Felix Doubront.

De La Cruz (.295, 7, 30), Kevin Heller and Jonathan Roof join De La Cruz as players with prior Portland experience in the outfield. Blake Tekotte, a past third-round pick, signed as a free agent after spending the 2014 season in Triple-A for the White Sox and Diamondbacks.

Brenly, son of longtime major league player and manager Bob Brenly, backed up Swihart in 2014. He’ll share catching duties with Triple-A veteran Luis Martinez and Tim Roberson, up from Greenville and Salem.

Defense is Brenly’s calling card. He threw out 16 of 31 attempted base stealers in 46 games.

“When you start a year with the team we had, it’s kind of hard not to be good,” Brenly said. “The ball went our way last year. We won a lot of games and it was fun and upbeat. I think that’s the way to go about it is just have fun with it.”

McMillon won’t approach his unsung roster any differently than its touted predecessor.

“Last year, Mookie was here as a second baseman, and he got the same work that I’m going to give Asuaje this year,” the manager said. “Just because Mookie, Travis, Deven were name prospects, if you will, the work is going to be the same.”

Weather, as always, is an early-season concern.

Snow was expected to fall Wednesday night, possibly enough to accumulate on the not-yet-green outfield grass. Game-time temperature for opening night likely will dip into the 30s.

Heller (New York) and Augliera and Light (New Jersey) are the only northern natives on the club.

“I’m from Arizona, so this is way out of my element,” Brenly said. “Both teams have to deal with it. It’s something to try to put out of your mind, and once the game starts just play hard. That will keep you warm.”

“Spring training is kind of an abbreviated test run. Now stats count and all that stuff. Now players have to get used to the elements,” McMillon said. “The weather, the stadium, their teammates, the travel, three-man umpiring crews. All the things that make the season what it is, we’re on-the-job training with that right now.”

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