For Anthony Ranaudo, former Boston Red Sox’s first round pick in 2010, this offseason couldn’t have been easy for him. After a rough start to his major league career this past year, Ranaudo was hoping for another chance to show why he was once in competition for the first overall pick, an opportunity now that will never come with the Red Sox.
Boston stockpiled major league ready pitchers this winter, adding Justin Masterson, Rick Porcello, and Wade Miley to the rotation. Adding the three above arms pushed Ranaudo from a potential fifth starter candidate to nothing more than depth in the minors.
With no immediate spot in 2015, or further down the road, the Red Sox dealt the 25 year old pitcher to the Texas Rangers – the team who originally drafted him out of high school in 2007 – for left handed reliever Robbie Ross.
Ross was a reliever his first two years in the majors before being experimented with as a starter last season – an experiment that failed miserably, pitching to a 6.20 ERA in 27 games, 12 of which were starts. He had a combined 2.61 ERA his first two years solely as a reliever.
Back at the beginning of the draft process, Ranaudo’s name was right at the top of most boards with the likes of Anthony Rendonand Gerrit Cole (Matt Purke as well). An elbow injury cost him some velocity, and as it will with all pitchers in the draft – caused his stock to plummet.
With three first round picks in the 2010 draft, the Red Sox felt he was worth the risk to take the third of their selections.
He isn’t the top prospect that he was once thought to be, but this could be another case of a change of scenery working out for Ranaudo, Rangers’ General Manager Jon Daniels still believes in his newly acquired right hander,
“He has a four-pitch mix,” said Daniels in an MLB.com article “He doesn’t necessarily overpower guys, but has a quality pitch mix and throws strikes. Our scouts who have looked at him [talk] about his intelligence and aptitude and the will to make adjustments. We think there is more there, and he’ll continue to improve.”
Ranaudo only has seven starts to his major league career; nowhere near enough to get a good gauge on what he might be – even if it was an utter disaster. He will get every opportunity to win the fifth starting spot, going up against Ross Detwiler, Nick Martinez and Nick Tepesch.
If he isn’t able to beat them out, Daniels isn’t ready to give up on him. “If he’s not in the rotation, I would expect he would go down and continue his development.”