WEEI>On Demand>>Bradfo Sho, Ep. 31: The definitive Rafael Devers podcast

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 31: The definitive Rafael Devers podcast

May 15, 2017|

Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero, the man who had a huge hand in signing top prospect Rafael Devers, joins Rob Bradford to talk all things Devers. Romero explains how the organization locked up the talented third baseman, detailing how he has progressed to this point and how long it might be until the 20 year old becomes a major leaguer.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Add road show. That's my open definitely probably would have brought that's my old. Eric where you don't know what you're stupid you. Brad boat show. That's delicious. First job. Let's get this out the way. It is eight new era at the brat brochure we have a producer and executive producer in fact micro now. That might rebel underscore I've never seen a Twitter handle that actually has underscore. After the name but whatever good for you micro now micro now underscore he's jumping aboard the runaway freight train. That is the brat for a show podcast you may know Mike from his work with speaking sickly. The awesome podcast bar stool hockey podcast of rear admiral Ryan Whitney. Problem Mikey Mike sees the potential. In our little corner of the world. And has been nice enough to become part of the family so look forward to working with my key artery. Have enormous impact in case you've heard of Michael Holley podcast. You probably saw all the over social media because now we have a Twitter account. And it it's grim account all our act Brad tho underscores show though go to those places subscribe on iTunes. Leave comments do all of that it's a once again it is a new era the year restarted with the reboot at the B of the year has been great. Lot of people. Kept the fever. And we we thank you all for listening. But now it's it's next level now it's next level and we're coming off the great podcast of Michael Holley talking about it David Ortiz book. And in what we did now is rebates I grabbed Eddie ribeiro assistant general manager of the Boston Red Sox off Dave Lewis. And there's no better person you talked the doubt the guy that everybody wants to talk about. For the Red Sox VW played the Red Sox. But he's the hottest property the hottest commodity the hottest name in terms of those who are following this team right now and that is rob field devers. Third baseman for your Portland sea dogs. People wanna know where this kids that how long it's gonna be before he gets to the Red Sox where did he come from. All of those questions are answered by the guy who had a huge. Huge. Pin in helping bring devers to the Boston Red Sox organization back in 2013. And now it's part of the decision making process in terms of have been inclined the latter. All the way up to the Major League rosters so this is the preeminent the best he wanted only rough field devers podcast. With Red Sox assistant general managers. Eddie Romero. Making his first ever appearance on the Brad social podcasts you know what that means free T shirt. And he ribeiro assistant general manager of the Boston red sides he's got enough to. Sit with this overlooking the Saint Louis arch on the op today Eddie Eddie Dillon better now that I know that I have something go wash my car way and then yeah. You aren't alone that's that's our demographic it's better weather this year while the brat votes he shared. So ready we wanted to they grab you a little bit and we've talked to him before about. The Europe in your previous existence was. International scouting quite a bit but he said now you're the assistant GM. But rob field devers a name everyone wants to talk about and as we sit here right now let's get this out as we sit right now here right now. How do you see devers progression where he's at how far yet to go. I think he's in in a very good spot developmentally forest bomb. You know he's came into the season. First time it's bringing things in Major League spring training and he. He impressed the staff and his work ethic the way he went about things that very good feel for being a young guy in his first camp. We just wanted to make sure we saw how he it was wasn't about performance it was how he handled himself and how he went about his business and he did that very well and I think Kia impressed the staff with just the way he went about his work. As the season started spinning -- to see that he's got off to a good start you know last year first time really playing in. Cool weather out there at the start you know indeed he ended up eating up during the regular season and finished up very well. He had a good spring good offseason should say and then going into this spring and into the season we real very happy to where he is he's we've gotten very good reports from defensively. Terms of range arm strength accuracy. And the that the numbers so far you know on the offensive side and where he's gone from man from an approach standpoint the improvements he's made there in being more selective and we've seen early you know that the powers exhibited itself early on so we're very happy with his progress. So I wanna get into into the path they use it you talked to find rough field divers because he Utah I wrote twenty year old now but when it's ultimately the seventeenth. I'll but first to go back to what you said he was in spring training. Major leagues returning for the first time and yeah he impress some ways and in other ways he struggled a semi twenty year old would do if I was twenty year old. I would struggle in Major League camp I probably struggle every single year I in existence it is. Is that the usually for anybody and as you said. I thought he acclimated himself well leads. You know he didn't try to do too much it didn't seem to didn't try to wasn't trying to be the life of the party he watched he learned everything else. What or some of those things from the day he went to spring training. To do that day he left spring training that you think that he learned that you picked up along the way. I think a lot of. From watching some of the older guys this is how to. Give full day's work game everything from arriving early to going over video to getting in the gym. Do than going out and getting what you need to do in terms of ground ball work in terms of a batting practice and then finishing it off with. Whether he was doing extra conditioning or going back and watching his at bats on video I think there's and overall you liked. What what a major leaguer does to improve day by day and I think he was very observe and of that I think he surrounded himself with with the right group of guys. It coming in talking with him you know he was gonna put a little bit of pressure on himself because he wanted to perform so bad so badly yet during the spring game. Any point during his struggles he got a little frustrated. And I think. He tell you come self doubt which I like day to see that he didn't panic or anything like that ended up you know doing a little bit better there at the end. But I just think overall it seeing how two guys that had success at the Major League level work day in and day out even during the spring. Do not think fit in maybe I don't know on talk about right to and other things talking of people Portland. From the first day who watched him actually in the mini camp in the the rookie mini camp. To win that's entering in the target people in Portland his conditioning I think that. My guess is that he learned that's one of the things he also learned along the way it is. It's sneaks up on getting big sneaks up on him and active sense that you got a little vague but once again talking to people in Portland seems like you learned a lot. From that time in spring training and also the early on seized about that. I agree I think. He's really realize and realizing what's what that is his best playing weight and what he can do what he can do in terms of agility. And down again he's only twenty years old so in the offseason we everybody wants some time off he does and I'm sure you know like you in his downtime. Perhaps took a couple weeks off for some like most guys do and might take him a little bit more to get in shape and I think he's realized that I think he's worked very hard and his nutritional habits. What to eat what foods affect him the most Mahfouz give him. Energy get him going. And that's a constant learning process for a lot of kids and again I go back to the age you know obviously everybody at that age mostly guys are just he pizzas whenever and I think he's learned that that may affect him a little bit more than others or my tackle a bit more work effusive put on some weight. But I think he's and a heck of a job realizing what's what's good what's bad. You know staying away from from them the foods that affected negatively and I think you know that the fact that he shed weight that he needed to early on it didn't affect it negatively and and again I think that's that was in the early season success he's had. So let's go back first time he saw first time in remember hearing about him first time you saw. Sure at the first time was it was early it was June or July. Said you know of of them this prior signing yours we were on him very early their number areas scatter Dominican super riser Manning needed this game right there is this keeping you have to see and it wasn't just like you know. Movement and every day you know pump up for the teams again his team might be special on. He was a first when it seemed he was a first wanna recognize it. And so as soon as we got in there you know we head. We knew we were there was a group of us and Todd Claus is generally Pino was in there we went in and it was immediately like wow you know like this. Isn't something we usually see the you know left handed power bat are difficult to find out there. And for such a young age he had. Surprising ability to use the whole field to square the ball up. You're looking for guys to do things in how they react breaking balls and how they can. I stayed back on the ball on if they're just trying to hit home runs which is usually what you see down there it. He used a whole field he was very content getting a base hit to left field just as much as he was hitting a ball out of the ballpark. It was a very advanced beyond there was there was so a lot of a lot of power there's a lot of thunder in the back. And so immediately caught our attention. In addition of that. What we saw how he how he moved to third base it surprises because. You know he's now I was in the same shape that he is now when he was then was obviously he'd be the first I use a little pudge here in. But he was always let on his speed he always had a very accurate arm in arm strength. There were questions of people wondering about whether he was gonna have to move to third base whatever and we were very confident that with our. Player development staff and our our coordinators. And with our strength and conditioning staff on top of him that he'd be able to stay there and I think he's only strengthen our thought that because of the way he's played their base and you know talking with you know Andy fox. And you with Dave this past week about how he lifted. He looked at third base that's when Davis in Portland seemed he was very encouraged by the fact that you know this guy's going to be at third base. What we. A big part of of what you did what you will you do is relationship building and I know that the other scouts are involved. But when you talk about this kid as a seventeen year old international to be Asian signing it ultimately signing for a top tier money having a million half dollars. That you have to develop a relationship him and this is a big part of it. So how did that sort of of Wall Street for the Red Sox to only for you reference goes. Sure he was he's a very Shaq Kidd from the outs yet he keeps he was most comfortable on the field and that was evident in beaches for a kid is as franchise he was the you know he was it his all this place stood out. On the field so once he got to know him you got to meet his family his father played a little bit of professional baseball and you we. Our our area are areas that again was the one that was was the key cog in this entire I think he was when they got no the family the best he got to know the kid gets it and figure out how well he competed. And the more we did we we went down there we had obviously various. Scouts and cross checkers go down there. He always stood out he always perform forests. Even when he wasn't at his best he still didn't affect let it affect his attitude or his effort level which for us was keyed. And I remember one particular conversation where I was talking to a woman. He mentioned having to go have another trial would another club and he looked me right in the dying and he was like don't let me leave this academy is I don't wanna play for anybody else and I was like you know. You hear that a lot with him you know you you feel it was genuine in. And he's he's we've referred to that moment before you know after the fact and he was again I was being honest I didn't wanna play for another team. And so mom you know usually you know he did you hope that that was that was genuine I think he was genuine and have them you know it's obviously ecstatic when we got what Lou. So you go to that moment even though he's saying I wanna play the Red Sox to let me leave this the Red Sox academy. Tom was that do you remember when I came to crunch time of being nervous that there were other teams. But the same level of mean trust you may be even more and dressed. Financially or relationship wise or anything you can do remember that time whether it whether Dicey situation where you pretty confident that you gonna get a will. I think we're confident we're getting Camby is out we had established a good relationship with him with his with his family and and with the agent as well and I think. You know at the end of the day they made it. You know perfectly blunt tell us that they preferred that we beat a team I think we were where we need to be financially as well on July 2 of that year. You know competitive with whatever their teams there was obviously a lot of interest in them you know he was no secret when you know you and didn't he what he was. Don't perform well on all the showcases. And so you know I just think that. There were commitments on on both sides to getting getting it done. And that's why that's why it happened one of the fascinating things there is when we talk about leading up to that and where these kids are coming from Dominican Republicans. Yeah you try to acclimate them with the academy and everything else but then there away from home there playing professional baseball. Totally different settings may be in Fort Myers, Florida. When he started that process that that part of his life powers that he said he's excited. How did he handle it both on the field and off the field. Well I think like any young very young person you're throwing to a new environment you know it takes time for your trusty politics after you open up and I think. I think he did that very well you know we got a mean English classes right away and we got him. Surrounded by. Our player development staff who we you know he's he's felt comfortable with since day one a lot of those guys he knew before. He signed with us just from being at the academy now those coaches like that you won't Veres is in the Nelson Paulino is. Those guys were there before him saw him at the academy have developed you know through the system as he has. And you know I think he's he's a very easy he's an engaging kid now he's. He's very easy to talk to he's been a great teammate to both you know ended the Latin kids and the the American kids. Came down you know he's just a hard worker and I think when other you know teammates see. How hard he works it you know that also that ultimately starters have a lot of respect he's miles thought. He does you know I was is nickname when we when we signed him he's it was it was was make the equivalent of smiled as he does that I think that. You know I had it and he knows he knows where would he likes to do it he loves what he does and you know he's fortunate that I'll think he takes it program. What was the moment so he he starts playing professional baseball in your yes nice swing and he has the skills and everything else. But where it was there a moment the last few years three says there it is this is what could potentially we are saying that he's actually gonna become a star in the major leagues. Cook up potentially could be the guy that we thought he would be. What we do race is so difficult and you project on. A lot of these guys in and so many times a year like tallied I think this guy could be something game and look at the end of the day reality sets in 99% of the time your wrong. And you for whatever reason you know I guess you know we as consensus collectively thought that this team had chance to really be special I think when you combined. His offensive prowess. The projection for power his defensive ability. And the makeup and work ethic and desire to be an only good player but a good player for the Red Sox I think that may have set him above you know our conviction with some other players. I don't know there was it and pop moment with him from the minor leagues but as soon as he started playing in Dominican Summer League against first couple weeks that he started performing. And that was exactly who we had seen him do rider that I mean usually there is some kind of struggled. Early on heeding stroke he had for some power right away. And you know he was only there I think three or four weeks I'm not mistaken before we called him up to the Gulf Coast League and he continued. There that was just the inspectors went to show you that it would it was different. When two teams start showing interest in them and I know. That they've obviously is pretty well documented about teams showing interest last trade deadline yeah offseason. But when did teams start showing. Like this is the guy that we want for X. I think he's I think he's been a well known you know prospects for awhile you know right now it for at least the last couple years he peace. You kind of being a quote unquote guys for a while since. Since he was such high profile international player and L show cases in a lot of you know American cross checkers and scouting directors were there to see those in front office personnel and I think he separated himself at those events as well so I think he's been pretty well known and you know the fact that he's been able to. Perform. Throughout the lower levels of the minors now in double way has only kind of risen his stock and so I you know obviously it's. Over the past couple years become more and more popular and Betsy you embrace this whole this whole notion of being a guy I use the futures game. The Major League camp now people are constantly going up to Portland because it's a good story do. Do you think he's comfortable there's I think so you know I think. I think he realizes that you know he's known and especially in in our marketing new England and everybody doesn't just fall the big league team everybody follows the minor leagues as well and I and they and and the prospects and everything. I do think he's come from way I think you know he's gotten some help from that from playing in the Dominican where it's you know there's there's. There's an audience there's I have with a with a high level of interest in the way doesn't it can media there as well and you know he's already had some you know. Had to deal with the media in the minor in the lower levels of the minor leagues with a us. And and there's been nothing to the effect it you know as worried us about the way that he's handled it. He's he's a great heated I think he's he's composed and he's poised so I don't think really any any of that that the states have. As we sit here right now obviously you know once again he's he's a talker he's he's a name out there are people like talking about. Tom and I I'm not expecting you sale of this is that going to be the day that we dig route of the average is going to be called up. But the same time it is it is interesting to me where you have last year and you have the pennant and he in the month examples. And my question you is. Using last year is there something that you can learn that maybe even you know before or even like 5% of it that you might be able to use when making that. Wrist. You know I don't I don't think there's anything out of the ordinary you know I mean you know we. It's I don't know what the plan is for him I know he's progressing very very well yeah I think he's where he needs to be no way as as Dave mentioned last week and we you know setting in. In our discussions over the past few days he's progressing well he's in the good spot I think Carlos they'll listen. The staff down there is a great job. Developing and they know that you know there's there's there's another level you know it is to go and AAA and in the big league levels was only really two steps to two Dutch is away. And there really isn't you know I've I think he is just to mature maturity more more at bats more games more and more games forum. And the fact that. He's still work refining his approach which is a big thing you know I think you know our our hitting coach we may is really emphasizing that way coming. We've seen some results over the past month or so of the past two weeks that. Are encouraging in that regard you know where he's refining his approach she's. You know and that league knows who he is now as well and so it's you know he's being did pitch to difficulty of mine and differently. And now it's his turn to make that adjustment and in progress in that. Would be fair to say that when people say well why if the parents are making go to double way to the major leagues why can't this kid. There's say that all the biggest difference in the easy answer that is your talking about a kid. And better and to Andy who was a couple years more advanced in terms of his professional are not professional baseball but his baseball playing career sure hey yeah I agree with that you know I mean you know. Then he had played through high school when he had his his two years of college and you know major school against. Credit best conference in College Baseball and you know where where ralphie you know comes from from that the most. Via the riskiest in the hardest to project in the the market with where you have the least experience before being thrown into a professional baseball. So we just have to remember you know he's still twenty years old it'll be 21 until after the season. And we just we're just today and I keep saying if he's listening he's in good place developmentally and you know he's there are some things that we he needs to work on and he knows what those things are that's. He's doing right now were of those what's what's the what's the what do we say is that the biggest thing that he just he knows as some disease reckless on the part can't say oh my goodness technically that he Romero said this about me. Below is the biggest thing he needs to work I can price guarantee doesn't listen to the rob Bradford for a but I I cannot make that guarantee at all. I you know what like I like I mentioned earlier I think it's the they're refining your approach you know I think that's the biggest thing I think gum. If he's never been a guy do to strike out that much but he also doesn't walk that much and I think that's one thing where more so than just walks for walks and strikeouts I think it's. Handling what pitches are what pitchers are giving you and make teachers' swing at pitches that you can do damage which and that's something especially at a young age without that many minor league at bats and some. That he continues to work I think he knows the importance of that. And that will only make him better that will only improve his numbers that will only allow him to get to his power more and I think that's been. The area of concentration for him and I know Dayne and chatting with him to that. You know he's always working on his defense as well whether it's you know what positioning and and what he can get to an ranging coming in on balls and accuracy of these throws he's that's always on his mind as well it's not just always about the back. Now the the the first third race man that you ever tracked received. And so I I I I do you like gently she let ego without. Offering the best in tow the best memory. Of your dad and Eddie Romero the view original Gator. Right date in with the Boston Red Sox obviously the straw that stirred the drink when they made their 1986. World Series Rhein has a youngster with what what was your favorite memory about being around your dad Major League Baseball player. For first he was more the shorts of course you know that I know when I was I was trying to tie it off the cap they also know what it was at the original Gator. Nobody is gonna remember the Mike Reid well us and also called the gators so whatever but it what was your favorite. You know I I don't know if there's any. Any one particular memory I just I do remember you know like payout of some very young men right. Just going to the ballpark every day when I'm just you know it you kind of grow Buick everybody's dad is a baseball player you know you. Don't really know anything else but I just remember what a fun atmosphere that was quickly Jimmy rice and and a and that team was so good and dislike this expectation when it was like I you know. On our talks to the auto drives to the ballpark you just feel like I am undermine what how much we're gonna win by. You know and and my question him was saying you played today which you usually wasn't you know I yes Bud Black people would be he had was it oh he was robbed right you drop by Brian downing. That was at that you know that the to let moments that really stick out that would in the playoffs against against Brian downing when he when he got robbed the home run and then. Just being in the world at the World Series at the end of season and me not being there which was a very good the traumatic why were you there I was young I was with my grandfather and at home in Florida and you know when everything went down I just remember sobbing uncontrollably. Game six talking to my dad at 2 o'clock in the morning after that because I just had to hear from him and and you know it was. But he was it Williams put a great experience being here you know Reed being at Fenway for those years you can't you can't have a child that much cooler than that. Know you champ my dad is not call the Gator Bowl maybe you. He admitted he was that are I have no idea but missed the last question how you like your job every year the fact of the matter is that your. Your assistant GM you're making the trip to this beautiful Saint Louis. As they've represented of the front offices or something you wouldn't do as international scouting director. How is it was the biggest difference in this job for. I think the obvious differences. A lot more exposure to Major League club knowing the everyday workings. The medical updates and concerns the roster player. Construction and movement and don't really we just you know the heavy focuses. Making this team better you know when it whether it's. Scouting our minor leaguers to see what we know what moves him to help us. What players and other teams are possible future fits. And you know him and as well it's still overseeing the international scouting. Department which is still a passion for for me and for our department and but obviously you know delegated some I've I've had two I think. Getting outs and Dominican Republic and Venezuela every once in a while still like we charges that you know scouting. Whose desire in and so yeah its its been great so far did Dave's been Creighton exposing me to you know I think you know the inner workings of our operation. And to work in you know a lot more and it and we Crennel salary and in and a lot of fun and learning that has victims of the the Major League industry as well. The per Diem better for assistant GM horse Derek director it's the same. Does it really. It is right now you know you're he had no little bit nicer cities and you know that maybe I should you know asked about that hit it. Scenarios if he's a big that we whereby Karrie thanks so much for joining thanks up.

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