With the Boston Red Sox taking three players with ties to LSU in the MLB Draft last week, I decided to reach out to Kris over at Saturday Night Slant to get his take on them.
So before we get to Kris' thoughts on Anthony Ranuado, Garin Cecchini and Lucas LeBlanc, I just like to thank him for him for his time.
In last week's Major League Baseball amateur draft, the Red Sox selected three players with ties to LSU. I'm glad to help out Sox and Dawgs with my take on these three players.
The first Tiger selected was right hander Anthony Ranaudo who was selected in the first compensation round with the 39th overall pick. Ranaudo enjoyed a dominant sophomore campaign going 12-3 with a 3.04 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 124.1 innings pitched. Following that season, many projected Ranaudo to be a Top five pick in the 2010 draft. He was set to be the rock of LSU's pitching staff and a team leader. However, 2010 did not go as planned. Very early in the season, Ranaudo complained of elbow soreness in his right elbow. LSU was very cautious with him, working him slowly back into action. However upon his return, he could never regain his 2009 form. Finally at the end of the season, especially in the SEC Tournament, Ranaudo looked like his old self.
Ranaudo is your classic power pitcher. He throws very hard with a fastball in the mid 90s, and he also throws a very nice curve that can be an out pitch. He has struggled at times with his control throughout his career. Standing 6'7", he often has trouble getting the ball down in the strike zone. He is a rhythm pitcher that really competes on the mound. When he's in his rhythm, he can be un-hittable. Ranaudo still has the same stuff that caused many to project him as one of the top picks in the draft. It's just a matter of consistency for him. I think the Red Sox got a tremendous value pick with Ranaudo at #39 overall.
In the fourth round, the Sox selected infielder Garin Cecchini from Barbe High School in Lake Charles, LA. Cecchini has signed a letter of intent to play at LSU. Cecchini is listed in some places as a shortstop, but he projects much better as a corner infielder, probably at third base. He has the power to be a legit corner infield prospect.
He injured his knee this spring and missed several months. Without that injury, he may have been drafted even higher. It sounds like he is going to play summer ball prior to negotiating with Boston, and that might impact what they offer him. It also delays negotiations until August, so they'll have to come to an agreement quickly. Obviously, my readers hope that Cecchini never suits up for the Red Sox but instead shows up to Baton Rouge this fall. He reportedly has a high asking price but if forced to guess, I'd say that Cecchini will sign.
The Red Sox took another LSU signee in outfielder Lucas Leblanc in the 11th round out of Delgado Community College. The athletic outfielder stands 6'3" 200 pounds. He hit .420 with 17 doubles, 7 triples, and 11 homers and 67 RBIs in 57 games for Delgado this season. At LSU, Leblanc could slide right into a starting outfield spot if he shows up. At his draft position, most LSU folks consider Leblanc to be a coin flip to sign with Boston.