Newsom No Longer An Underdog
December 8, 2008
Akron right-handed reliever Randy Newsom is a rapidly ascending relief pitcher in the Indians farm system. He has gone from the obscurity of being an unknown and undrafted pitcher in the Red Sox organization fighting to hang onto a baseball dream, to now a legit relief pitching prospect in the Indians organization.
Newsom is from Cincinnati, OH, and attended Tufts University. He ended up going undrafted in the 2004 Draft, but quickly signed with the Boston Red Sox less than two weeks after the draft as an undrafted free agent.
His first year with the Red Sox, he pitched in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League (GCL) for the GCL Red Sox. He did well, going 2-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 18 games.
But, it was the chain of events after the 2004 season which have re-shaped his career. Near the end of Red Sox spring training in 2005, Newsom was messing around on the mound throwing submarine style, and Red Sox officials saw it and approached him about actually going with the approach. What started as a joke may now end up being his ticket to the big leagues.
"I was just making fun of somebody. I mean, I meant nothing to the Red Sox, so they were kind of like 'oh, let's try this'," recalls Newsom. "Credit to them, they liked me as a person so they gave me a lot more opportunities than they would have given some random undrafted free agent. You know, I worked hard and I was there early, and I got to know the front office people."
Newsom is a very likable guy, upbeat, funny and someone who doesn't take himself too seriously. Oddly, an incident with a fellow Latin teammate helped him stick around in extended spring training in 2005.
"I think one of the things that helped me stay in extended spring [in 2005] was that I talked to one of the Latin players who had a problem with the Bank of America, who tried to take advantage of the kid," says Newsom. "He was gone, and he was over-drafting every month because he had overdrawn. Well, he was gone for six months. So they were going to charge him that and the interest. So I went there and I used my broken Spanish to kind of explain what was going on and talked him through it. And they actually came to me after that and they were like