Anthony Ranaudo is commonly listed in the top ten of Boston Red Sox prospects. In fact, both Sox Prospects and MLB.com have him listed as sixth, but I am much lower on him than most and have him coming in at No. 13. I don’t think he is anything special, but his floor is as a fifth starter which is incredibly valuable to a big league club. The problem is his upside is about tenth highest in the Red Sox farm.
Standing 6-foot-7 and a healthy 230-pounds, Ranaudo looks like a prototypical power pitcher, but he doesn’t pitch that way. He once was able to touch 98 on a gun but now tops out closer to 95. He is able to back his fastball with a quality curve, but his change is fringe average at best.
Ranaudo tore up the minor leagues in 2013 earning him a spot on both the AA Eastern League All-Star team and a trip the New York to take part in the MLB Futures Game. In both games he surrendered a home run and looked unimpressive. Granted, two innings in All-Star Game formats are hardly a large sample, but it does raise a bit of a red flag.
He was promoted to AAA at the end of the season and kept his ERA under three in a little more than 30 innings as he struck out guys at a rate three times higher than those he walked. Despite all the good numbers, when you watch him pitch he is unremarkable. With the incredible arms the Red Sox have in their system, using Ranaudo to bring in ancillary players in the field would be a smart move.