Roman Anthony was the 79th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. He came into this season with a decent amount of hype, but the Boston Red Sox prospect wasn't headlining many people's lists.
How quickly things can change, huh?
Anthony put up decent numbers in Single-A, but the underlying numbers and metrics were more than enough for the Red Sox to promote him to High-A in mid-June.
After crushing pitching in High-A for two months, Anthony was promoted for the second time in one season.
Now in Double-A and just turning 19 earlier this season, Anthony is considered one of the top prospects in baseball. He's on all the national lists and has become one of the favorite prospects of Boston fans.
On Thursday, I caught up with Anthony to discuss the whirlwind season he's had so far.
Q: You came into this year with a little hype, but have blown up the last three months. You're a consensus top 100 and every Red Sox fan loves you now. I'm sure your social media has blown up. Has that been a culture shock?
"It’s been great to see all the hype build up. I try to stay off that as much as I can, but you can’t really avoid it. But it’s been great to see that the work I put in has been finally starting to show and be acknowledged.
But I set some goals, and I don’t want to say I’m surprised by this because I work really hard and it’s something that I expect out of myself, and see myself coming as a top 100 prospect. Whether it was this year or whenever it was, it was something I set for myself, and good to see that I’ve gotten acknowledged."
Q: As a teenager jumping up two levels in a single season, outside of the advanced pitching what's been the toughest adjustment from multiple jumps?
"Adjusting to the clubhouse. It helps that we have a great group of guys. I met a lot of the guys from different levels in Spring Training. But that feeling of getting comfortable in the clubhouse and then you go somewhere else and have to do it all over again. I got to Greenville, got comfortable, and now I’m here.
But it really helps when the managers and different coaches and players are all good people that I have built some relationships already in Spring Training so that definitely helps."
So I would say that. Just adjusting to one day I’m in Greenville and the next I’m here in Pennsylvania.
Q: Were either of the promotions as shock? Or did they give you a laid-out plan?
"Sudden. They call you into the office one day after a game on a Sunday and you’re just kind of told hey you’re going to be traveling Monday to meet the team and then, you know, you’re in the lineup Tuesday.
It’s not something they give you a heads up on because I think if they give you a heads up it’s going to be kind of detrimental to what you’re trying to get done at that level at that time.
It’s super sudden, but obviously, it’s a good thing to get those calls."
Q: First day in Double-A and you get a hit. How important was that? Was it a weight off your shoulders, or just another day?
"Definitely a good feeling to get that first one out of the way at the new level. But the organization put you here for a reason so they expect you to go out there and continue to do what you’ve been doing. So just going out there and continuing to stick with my routine and do what I do. And obviously when the hits land, it’s good to see. But nothing changes regardless of the outcome."
Q: You haven't faced a ton of lefties this year. But you've been swinging a lot better against them in recent weeks. Is that something you focus on in practice/training because you haven't gotten to face them in games?
"I struggled at first in the beginning of the year because we didn’t see a lot of them at all. It was such a small sample size of at-bats that on paper I’m sure it looked pretty crappy.
I’m starting to see them more and more, getting more comfortable with them. Stick to my same approach, and things start to fall and then obviously the confidence starts to build over time as you see more and more.
So it wasn’t even something that I was looking into or stressing about. I knew once I had seen enough of them and had gotten a larger sample size of at-bats against lefties, it would all fall into place."
Q: Is there a player in the organization that's helped you this year? I know it's difficult because you've jumped up multiple levels and have been in different clubhouses.
"All the guys in general, because for me being 18/19 years old this year, I’ve been the youngest guy in the clubhouse most of the time. I’ve just been leaning on the older guys. Guys that have been here a couple years or have been through the same thing I’m going through.
So I wouldn’t say there’s one in particular. Just guys in general here. Blaze, Nick Yorke, Chase. High-A, Max Ferguson, Nick Decker. Guys that have been there. Just leaning on those guys. Those guys were super helpful to me and super great to me and kind of showed me the way. So there’s a ton of guys in general.
Just using those guys, and leaning on them, and having them kind of show you the way. It’s super helpful."
Q: Is there anything you'd want Red Sox fans to know about you?
"I'm a simple guy. I love the game of baseball, love playing the game and that’s really it. I can’t wait to be in Boston as soon as I can, playing for the fans. I look forward to continuing to develop and get better every day and hopefully stay with this org as long as I can."
Q: Thoughts on the "Acknowledge him" content that I run out on Twitter whenever I post your clips? I want to know if it's Roman Anthony approved.
"That’s hilarious. That’s been a nickname I’ve come across a couple times from people that are big WWE fans. I approve."