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. Query where you don't know what you're stupid. Brad broad 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. Might rebel underscore I've never seen a Twitter handle that actually has underscore. After the name but whatever good for you micro now Mike Rabelo 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 speaker chicklet. 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 Hawley 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 the once again it is a new era here we started 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 that Michael Hawley 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 David 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 right side. But he's the hottest property the hottest commodities the audience name in terms of those who are following his team right now and that is rock 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 roster so this is the preeminent the best he wanted only rough field devers podcast. With Red Sox assistant general managers. Eddie Romero. Mickey's 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 kind enough to. Sit with this overlooking the Saint Louis arch on the op today Eddie a deal on better now that I know that something wash my car way and and 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 UP apiece for a vote. The Europe in your previous existence was. International scouting quite a bit but he said now you're the assistant GM. But rob feel 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 forests. You know he's came into the season. First time it's bringing in spin Major League spring training and he. The compressed the staff whose work ethic the way he went about things get 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 all 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 compressed the staff with just the way he went about his work. As the season started it's been encouraging to see that he's got off to a good start you know last year first time really playing him. 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 worry 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 the progress. So I wanna get into into the path they use it you talked to find Rockville divers because he Utah wrote twenty year old now but when it's adamantly was seventeenth. But first to go back to what you said he was in spring training. Me too extreme training for the first time and yeah he pressed 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 while 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 listings from the day he went to spring training. To the day he left spring training that you think that he learned that he 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 and 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 in 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 that it may be I don't know on talk about pricing and other things talking of people Portland. From the first day who watched him actually in the mini camp in the the rookie minicamp. 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 play wait 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 off season you know we everybody wants some time off he does and I'm sure you know like you in his downtime. Perhaps to the 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 factories 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 said. So let's go back first time he saw first time I remember hearing about on first time you saw. Sure right the first time was it was early it was June or July of is that you know of of the Prius prior signing yours we were on him very early their number area scatter Dominican super riser Manning needed SpinRite there is this keeping you have to see and it wasn't just like you know. Men and every day you know pump up for the do you think it is Qaeda might be special on. He was at 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 bats are difficult to find out there. And for such a young age he head. Surprising ability to use the whole field to score the ball up. You're looking for guys to do things in how they react breaking balls and how they can. A state 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 it was in the same shape that he is now when he was then was obviously he'd be the first nasal pledge here in. But he was always led 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. They're development staff and our our coordinators. And with our strength and conditioning staff on top of them I'd 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 has a seventeen year old international to be Asian Sadia ultimately signing for a top to your money having a million half dollars. That yet opted to volatile 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 notes. Sure he was he's a very shy kid from the outs yet he keeps he was most comfortable on the field and that was evident in beaches first it is as if -- he was the you know he was his tallest 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 to know the family the best he got to know the kid gets it and figure out how well he competed. And the more we that we we went down there we have obviously various. Scouts and cross checkers go down there. He always stood out he always perform forests. Even when he was in that is passed he still in effect let it affect his attitude towards 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 can feel it was genuine and and he's he's we've referred to that moment before you know after the fact music yeah I was being honest I didn't wanna play for another team. And so bomb you know usually you know he did you hope that that was that was genuine I think it was genuine. 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 residents academy. Tom was that do you remember when it came to crunch time of being nervous that there were other teams. But the same level of Entrust you may be even more and dressed. Financially or relationship wise or anything you can do remember that time whether it whether Dicey situation re pretty confident that you gonna get a will. I think we're confident we're gonna get MB is 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 prefer that we beat a team and I think we were where we need to be financially as well on July 2 of that year. You know competitive with whatever other teams there was obviously a lot of interest in them you know he was no secret when you know he went in he would 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. Yet 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 to mean English classes right away and we got him. Surrounded by. Our player development staff who we you know he's he's so 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 embarrass 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 easy and engaging kid now he's. He's very easy to talk to he's been great teammates both you know they ended the Latin kids and that the American kids. Came down you know he's just a hard worker I think when other you know teammates see. How hard he works it you know that also that ultimately garner some a lot of respect he smiles law. 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 smiling he does that I think that. You know I had it if he knows he knows where it would he likes to do any loves what he does and you know he's fortunate that I don't 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 Reeves says there it is this is what could potentially we aren't saying that he's actually gonna become a star in the major leagues. Cooked 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 college I think this guy could be something game and look at the end of the day reality sets in 99% at time your wrong. And you for whatever reason you know I guess you know we. Consensus collectively thought that this kid had a chance to really be special I think when you combined. His offensive prowess. The projection for power is defensive ability. And the make up and work ethic and desire to be known 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 ha ha moment with him from the minor leagues but as soon as he started playing in Dominican summer August 1 couple weeks that he started performing. And that was exactly who we had seen him do proprietor that I mean usually there is some kind of struggle. Early on heating stroke he had for some power right away. And you know he was only there I think three or four weeks from a mistaken before we called him up to the Gulf Coast again 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 I'd had 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 miners now in double way has only kind of risen to stop and so I you know obviously it's. Over the past couple years become more and more popular and let's see you embrace this whole this whole notion of being a guy they use the futures game. The Major League camp now people are constantly going up to Portland because it's a good story to do. Do you think he's comfortable this I think so you know I think. I think he realizes that you know he's known and especially in in our market in new England and everybody doesn't just called 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 in others there's. There's an audience there's I have with a with a high level of interest in the way doesn't it and media there as well and you know he's already had some you know. It's had to deal with the media in the minor in the lower levels of the minor leagues with us. And and there's been nothing to the effect it you know as worried as about the ways that he's handled it. He's a 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 am 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 view is. Using last year is there something that you can learn that maybe even you know before or even like 5% update 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 noise and it's 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 and 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 and I think you know our our hitting coach we may is really emphasizing that went almond. 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 and that. Could be fair to say that when people say well why if the parents are leaking go to double way to the major leagues why can't this kid. There's say that wall the biggest difference in the easy answer that is your talking about a kid. And veteran Tammy who was a couple years more advanced in terms of his professional are not professional baseball but his baseball playing career sure hey I agree with that you know I mean you know. Benny had played through high school when he had his two years of college you know major school against. Credit best conference in College Baseball and you know where were wrapped feet you know comes from from the most. Via the riskiest in the hardest to projected in the the market with where you have police experience before being thrown into a professional baseball. So we just have to remember him he's still twenty years old he will 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 what are those what's what's the what's the what do we say is that the biggest thing that he casinos as some disease necklace on the podcast Seau Mike and secondly that it merits of this government. Below is the biggest thing he needs to work back in price guarantee doesn't listen to the rob Bradford for a but I I cannot make that guarantee at all. I you know would like I like I mentioned earlier I think it's the they're refining the approach you know I think that's the biggest thing I think gum. If he's never been a guy due to strength at 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. Tangling with pages are what pitchers are giving you and make teachers' swing at pitches that you could do damage with and that's something especially at a young age without that many Miley 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 actors you least 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 IIII do you like gently you let ego without. Offering the best in tow the best memory. Of your dad 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 Ron has a youngster. Wrote what what was your favorite memory about being around your dad Major League Baseball player. So first he was more the shorts of course you know that I know when I was I was trying to tie it off the cabinet also know what it was at the original Gator. Nobody is gonna remember that Mike Reid dwellers also called the gators so whatever by the 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 I now have some very young men by. Just go into the ballpark everyday Wear them just you know and you had a growth 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 and that team was so good and dislike this expectation when it was like I you know. On our talks to the auto drives at 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 it 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 you know that that too late 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 remembered 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 in waves what a great experience being here at you know re being at Fenway for those years you can't you can't have a child that much cooler than that. No you can't have my dad is not commentator Paul maybe you. Prohibit US that are I have no idea but missed the last question how you like your job immediate the fact of the matter is that your. Your assistant GM you're making the trip two this beautiful Saint Louis. As eight represented on 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 a 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 in and as well it's still overseeing international scouting. Department which is still a passion for for me and for our department and five obviously you know delegated some I've I've had to I think. Getting outs of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela every once in a while still like we charges that you know scouting. Whose desire in and so yeah its it's been great so far did Dave's been Creighton exposing me to you know you know to the inner workings of our operation. And just working you know a lot more and it and we brattle salary and in in a lot of fun and learning that netspective of the the Major League industry as well. The per Diem better for assistant GM Horst Derrick director it's the same. Does it really. It is right now you know you're eating that you know a little bit nicer cities and maybe I should you know asked about that it. Visio TV's a big that we whereby Karrie thanks so much for joining us thanks up.