Texas Rangers Need Anthony Ranaudo To Develop
By David Hill
Perhaps it is because of the Red Sox lack of a viable farm system over the past couple of seasons, but Anthony Ranaudo was a pitcher who was expected to eventually reach the majors and be a part of their future. He was, after all, once a top 100 prospect according to Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. Acquiring the now 25 year old Ranaudo for Robbie Ross seemed to be a solid move for the Texas Rangers.
He certainly does not appear to have anything left to prove in the minors. In 31 AAA appearances, Ranaudo has complied an 18-5 record with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.206 WHiP. While he may not be an elite strikeout pitcher, Ranaudo has struck out 138 batters in 173.1 AAA innings. Suffice to say, he has proven he can pitch at that level.
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When it comes to his ability to get major league batters out, the jury is still out when it comes to Anthony Ranaudo. In his 41 major league innings, Ranaudo has posted a 5.93 ERA and a 1.537 WHiP. Yes, those numbers are drastically inflated due to his disastrous start on Wednesday, when he gave up six runs on six hits and two walks in 1.2 innings, but it is not as though Ranaudo had set the world afire before that outing.
Prior to coming to the Texas Rangers, Ranaudo had posted a 4.81 ERA and a 1.398 WHiP with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. Yes, those number come in the small sample size of 39.1 innings of work, but they actually should have been much worse. In that time frame, Ranaudo allowed ten home runs, yet gave up only 21 runs in total. He walked 16 batters and gave up 39 hits, indicating that those ten home runs should have done a lot more damage than they actually did.
It is still very early in Anthony Ranaudo’s career, especially as he turns 26 this September. Yet, given his limited track record, and even more limited success at the major league level, it may be fair to wonder if he will be able to get major league caliber hitters out consistently.
The baseball landscape is littered with players that dominated at the AAA level, yet just were not good enough to play consistently in the majors. Just look back at players like Brad Komminsk, Joe Bauman or Mike Hessman. They had nothing left to prove in the minors, yet could not perform at the major league level. Ranaudo may simply be in that same category.
It is still very early in Anthony Ranaudo’s career, but his lack of success is still troublesome. Given the Texas Rangers pitching issues, he may get another chance this season to prove he can perform in the majors, but if he fails in such a spectacular fashion once again, he may not see another opportunity for quite a long time.