First there was Matt Dominguez and Brian Bogusevic, and now comes Mike Olt.

Mike Olt

Mike Olt

First there was Matt Dominguez and Brian Bogusevic, and now comes Mike Olt.

After inking Dominguez and Bogusevic to minor-league deals to compete at third base and outfield, respectively, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with another former first-rounder, Mike Olt, to serve as depth at both first and third base.

The 28-year-old Olt was the 49th overall pick in the 2010 draft, having spent last season in Double- and Triple-A with the Padres organization. The righty hitter has played in 135 major league games, hitting .168 with a .580 OPS.

Olt last played in the big leagues in 2015 with the White Sox, totaling 24 games at both first and third base.

The former UConn star figures to join Dominguez and Josh Rutledge has right-handed-hitting, third base options if Pablo Sandoval struggles against left-handed pitching.

At one time, Olt had been considered a top prospect, entering the 2012 season as Baseball America’s 22nd overall minor-leaguer. He would ultimately serve as one of the key elements in the Rangers’ trade with the Cubs for Matt Garza.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Roniel Raudes. (Photo courtesy Greenville Drive)

Roniel Raudes. (Photo courtesy Greenville Drive)

It’s Jason Groome and then a pretty steep cliff.

At least that’s the perception of what the Red Sox have to work with in terms of legitimate potential top of the rotation, minor-league pitching talent.

The 16th (Michael Kopech) and 25th (Anderson Espinoza) ranked prospects in all of baseball, according to MLB.com, used to be in the conversation, but now are long gone. What’s left for the Red Sox is a heavy reliance on last year’s first-round pick, Groome, making it big.

But there is one name that might merit a second glance: Roniel Raudes.

Few have ever heard of the just-turned-19-year-old. But think about where you might have been the first time Espinoza became a talker. So, if you want to seem ahead of the curve, there are worse ideas that to jump on the Raudes bandwagon.

The leap of faith might not be as easy as it was with Espinoza for the sole reason that Raudes doesn’t throw as hard. The righty, who was the second-youngest player in the South Atlantic League last season (just 3 months older than Espinoza), is built on smarts, a good mix of pitches, and, perhaps most impressive, fearlessness.

“He’s not afraid,” said Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero. “He gives up a home run and it’s like nothing happened. That’s a great trait.

“I know those guys [Raudes and Espinoza] really got along well. I think there was a healthy competition between the two. They picked each other’s brain. Espinoza was the power pitcher and got more of the buzz. Raudes was the more conventional guy, changing speeds and throwing strikes. But I do think they learned a lot of from each other. We never thought he was in the shadows. We just thought we had to young guys with good arms and a lot of upside.”

What makes Raudes good now — coming off a season in Single-A Greenville where he went 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA — is what drew the Red Sox to him after first seeing the Nicaragua native pitch as a 14 year old in a tournament in Chihuahua, Mexico.

“He was a really skinny, right-handed kid on the mound. He was dominant,” remembered Romero, who was joined by scouts Todd Claus, Rafael Mendoza and Manny Nanita in originally tracking Raudes. “He was going after guys. He was extremely competitive. He wasn’t throwing all that hard, maybe 80-82 mph, which for that age wasn’t bad. But he was a really skinny kid who competed really well.

“One of those things where he didn’t show the power stuff but he could really stuff. That competitive really stood out and had a good feel for spinning a breaking ball. And he always, always, even from the first time we saw him, would throw strikes. He would come in and go after the three and four hitter, where a lot of time you can avoid those guys in those tournaments. But he went right after him. Everybody loved the kid.”

The meetings between the Red Sox talent evaluators would always lead to a hope that Raudes — whose uncle, Julio Pavon Raudes, played in Triple-A with the Giants — could join the Red Sox. Thanks to a signing bonus of $250,000 ($1.55 million less than Espinoza), that became a reality.

“He fell into the right price range because some people were concerned about the physicality, or lack of it. We felt comfortable with it,” Romero said. “We knew we were going to have a chance to sign him just because of the level of interest we had shown.”

Raudes hasn’t let the Red Sox down.

The first real sign that life as a pro baseball player wasn’t going to throw Raudes for a loop came when he started and won the title-clinching game in the Gulf Coast League as 17-year-old.

The pitcher’s personality and panache (he implements a bizarre maneuver with his hands and head while getting into the set position, as can be witnessed on the video below) continues to serve his well. WIth Greenville in 2016, Raudes struck out 104 over his 113 1/3 innings, waling just 23.

“I’ve never seen this kid pitch scared,” Romero said. “It’s always a crystal ball your looking into, but he gives himself a shot by mixing pitches, and throwing strikes. It’s not overpowering stuff, but he goes right after guys. We really like him.”

Start paying attention. Raudes might make you (and the Red Sox) look really smart.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Rob Bradford is joined by former Red Sox catcher, and newly-named ESPN analyst, David Ross to break down the good and the bad when it comes to the two Super Bowl teams' fans. Ross, who grew up near Atlanta and played for the Braves, offers examples of what separates the fan bases. He also adds some interesting insight into how close he came to not retiring at the end of the 2016 season.
Rob Bradford is joined by former Red Sox catcher, and newly-named ESPN analyst, David Ross to break down the good and the bad when it comes to the two Super Bowl teams' fans. Ross, who grew up near Atlanta and played for the Braves, offers examples of what separates the fan bases. He also adds some interesting insight into how close he came to not retiring at the end of the 2016 season.

[0:00:23] ... hall of fame. On the on the on the ring of honor. David Ross. Now currently the straw mr. isn't ranked in the Chicago Cubs front office. And we you may know him from such education ...
[0:06:00] ... excited. A lot of all though I told had a paper for Tom Brady bill oh checked in and night crew. So I think it will be. Excitement for urban Atlanta Sanders as much as you ...
[0:11:09] ... up they're going for a great experience and leaders see guys like David Ortiz Dustin Pedroia. That that dynamic player to keep that that you guys have. You know so. When when you step over here ...
[0:11:51] ... trying to grab that magic formula that. Has allowed the bout the Bill Belichick and his Patriots to do something that nobody has done in professional sports which is discontinued Ron. Of just winning winning winning ...








[0:00:43] ... wrote a story NWI dot com. Proclaiming independent and he's better than David Ortiz and he we. Me and he's that he. Is Estrada or drank when it comes in Red Sox offense. And obviously over ...
[0:05:21] ... event attendees. Yes I would please feel lucky day here is in Drew Bennett. And be on the Bradford show. Well appearance for the first time ever on the brat throws show podcast that is independent ...
[0:07:42] ... you got the visually pretty and graduation to get to stay at Dustin Pedroia sounds. We took talked about the second. What is it what was the biggest thing. Today you didn't anticipate in terms of ...
[0:12:11] ... that like you obviously stayed in dorm rooms then I don't know frat house or whatever what was what was the Pedroia out. Realize south. I mean this the streak lives on obviously there's lots of ...








[0:00:43] ... wrote a story NWI dot com. Proclaiming independent and he's better than David Ortiz and he we. Me and he's that he. Is Estrada or drank when it comes in Red Sox offense. And obviously over ...
[0:05:21] ... event attendees. Yes I would please feel lucky day here is in Drew Bennett. And be on the Bradford show. Well appearance for the first time ever on the brat throws show podcast that is independent ...
[0:07:42] ... you got the visually pretty and graduation to get to stay at Dustin Pedroia sounds. We took talked about the second. What is it what was the biggest thing. Today you didn't anticipate in terms of ...
[0:12:11] ... that like you obviously stayed in dorm rooms then I don't know frat house or whatever what was what was the Pedroia out. Realize south. I mean this the streak lives on obviously there's lots of ...






Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, the player just identified as the top prospect in all of baseball, joins Rob Bradford to discuss (among other things) eating Chick-fil-A, saving per diem, taking ownership for cutting his hair and living with Dustin Pedroia

[0:00:16] ... show. That's delicious. Brad those so injured veterans and you editions. Hit Drew Bennett then the Red Sox outfielder some call it rookie some Cuomo prospects. Are discolored middle left fielder. He joins us on this podcast for the very first time but before we get to pennant Andy. The person in the hair and him living with Pedroia and all of interesting things he had to today. I wanna talk to John the mossy first he just wrote a story NWI dot com. Proclaiming independent and he's better than David Ortiz and he he he he that he is the straw that stirs the drink when it comes in Red Sox offense. And ...
[0:05:21] ... been attending. Yes I would today's your lucky day here is in Drew Bennett. And be on the Brent Rocha. Well appearance for the first time ever on the brat votes show podcast that is independent ...
[0:07:42] ... year you got the visually pretty and translations to get the stage Dustin Pedroia sounds. We took talked about acting. What is it what was the biggest thing. Today you didn't anticipate in terms of being ...
[0:12:11] ... something that like you've obviously stating dorm rooms then I don't know frat house or whatever what was what was the Pedroia out. Real nice south. I mean this history lives on obviously there's lots of ...






Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi is a superstar in the making. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)The first time I laid eyes on Andrew Benintendi, I had one thought.

"Wait, that guy?"



The Red Sox announced on Thursday plans to retire David Ortiz’s No. 34 on Friday, June 23 before a game against the Angels.

Ortiz, who retired after a landmark 2016 season, is a 10-time All-Star who helped lead the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004, 2007, and 2013.