By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
August 20, 2010
I had a look at Anthony Ranaudo in one of his five starts on the Cape. We have video we’ll run a bit later, but this is the summary and comparison to how he was when I saw him at UCLA in June. The Red Sox forked out $2.55 million for him.
In this look at Brewster, Ranaudo was 92-94 and averaged 92, which is better velocity than he had in June. His straight change was 84, still his third best pitch. The curveball was consistently at 79, which is a quality hard speed. It was sharper than when I saw him at UCLA and fewer fastballs were starting up in the zone.
Ranaudo is still behind in terms of mechanics and still looks like a guy getting by on arm speed alone. I wouldn’t go so far as to call his arm speed premium major league quality, but I would call it solid average.
He’s a bit of a tweener right now. He doesn’t have the power to stand out as a closer and he doesn’t have the consistency to survive as a starter.
The biggest single problem I have with Ranaudo is that his fastball is still up too many times. It is a weakness masked by hype and by facing inferior hitters as an amateur, but it won’t fly as a pro. That forces me to ask questions about aptitude for adjustment and if I conclude that it’s not there, those become risk factors.
On the bright side, I do think he’s healthy. I think the velocity is what you see is what you get. But the way he’s pitching now, he’s not setting himself up for long-term success. He may have won his above-slot money, but he’s going to be have to become a pitcher more than a thrower sooner rather than later. You can ignore this all you want. The hitters will tell you. Is he a star or is he depth? I think he’s depth.