The Texas Rangers took right-handed pitcher Anthony Ranaudo with their 11th round pick in Friday's MLB draft. A 6-foot-8 native of New Jersey, Ranaudo is another one of the high-ceiling pitchers the Rangers selected in this week's draft.
Lone Star Dugout caught up with the hurler shortly after he was drafted on Friday afternoon.
Jason Cole: Can you talk about what it means to you to be drafted by the Rangers?
Anthony Ranaudo: It's an honor to even be considered in the MLB draft. To go to a team that plays in such a nice area and has such great players as the Rangers, I think it's an honor to my family and I and for the hard work and effort that we've put in over the last couple of years.
Cole: How much do you know about the Rangers organization?
Ranaudo: I didn't know too much. Right now I'm just trying to enjoy it a little bit. I'm outside with my friends and hanging out. But later on tonight, I'll definitely be doing my homework and researching them. I'm going to look up online about their pitchers and their pitching programs, so I'll probably be learning a lot tonight.
Cole: What team have you followed growing up?
Ranaudo: I'm a Yankee fan. I've been a Yankee fan since I was younger.
Cole: How much contact did you have with the Rangers before they picked you today?
Ranaudo: Not too much. My dad had talked to the area scout a little bit. He had come to a couple of my games and we had seen him here and there, but it wasn't as much as we had heard from other teams.
Cole: Did you get picked about where you expected to go in the draft?
Ranaudo: To be honest, I thought I was going to get picked higher. I was hoping to be picked yesterday [Thursday]. I even had a couple of different teams call and ask about the third round and even late second round. The 11th round wasn't originally where we thought I was going to be taken, but everything happens for a reason.
Cole: How much have you talked to the Rangers since they picked you today?
Ranaudo: I've talked to the public relations man and the area scout that had scouted me all season. My father talked to the national crosschecker, so we've been in contact with them a couple of times today.
Cole: What would you say has been your best moment as a baseball player so far?
Ranaudo: Probably being drafted today. That was probably the biggest honor. Winning the state championship would come right after that. We won that when I was a sophomore. That and getting drafted today were probably the two biggest things in my baseball career.
Cole: You signed with Louisiana State University. What led you to choose the Tigers?
Ranaudo: The coaching staff that came from Notre Dame had really developed a strong program there. They were very classy men. They were great guys and great coaches that knew what they were talking about. I just got a good vibe when I was down there. With the things they did at Notre Dame, I couldn't imagine what they're going to do at LSU with all the facilities and the warm weather down there. I just fell in love when I was down there.
Cole: Can you talk about the chances of you signing with the Rangers versus heading to LSU?
Ranaudo: It depends on the money. Hopefully we can get the negotiations going within the next couple of days. Obviously my goal is to play professional baseball and getting drafted today is the first step towards that goal. Hopefully we can talk with the Rangers and come up with an agreement so that I can play.
Cole: Let's talk about you as a pitcher. Can you talk about what pitches you throw and the speeds that you generally work at?
Ranaudo: I throw four-seam and two-seam fastballs that range anywhere from 88-92 MPH. They pretty much topped out at 93-94 this year. I throw a curveball, it's a knuckle-curve. I throw that in the 72-76 MPH range. I also throw a changeup that is from the 78-82 MPH range.
Cole: Being so tall, scouts like to talk about how you have a chance to fill out and add some more velocity. Are you doing anything to kind of aid that along?
Ranaudo: I've been doing a couple of different exercises. I go to a gym and I obviously lift weights and do strength and conditioning. I do a lot of core exercises and a lot of baseball-specific weight lifting. Hopefully I can fill out my frame and reach my ceiling, as they say. Hopefully I will be able to throw in the mid-90's with good command and good offspeed stuff. Hopefully I'll be pitching in the major leagues in a couple of years.
Cole: Is there a big league pitcher that you would compare yourself to or that you try to model your game after?
Ranaudo: If anything, I would say Roger Clemens. I like the way he works his lower half. His worth ethic throughout the years has been great. He's just established himself as one of the best pitchers and his competitiveness and desire to win is just unbelievable. I respect him a lot for the way he plays baseball.
Cole: How do you believe you've developed as a pitcher over the last year?
Ranaudo: I feel like I've worked on mechanics. I try to repeat my delivery. I've worked on my curveball a lot along with overall poise and composure. I have to be out there and try to keep a level head. Getting the win for my team is a big thing.
Lone Star Dugout Q&A: Anthony Ranaudo
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