Minor League Mondays: Ryder Ryan Took A Big Leap In 2018

When the New York Mets traded Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians last August, they were ripped for supposed cheapness. The Indians took on the entirety of Bruce’s remaining salary, and the Mets ended up with right handed reliever Ryder Ryan, a 30th round draft pick who was 3-4 with a 4.79 ERA in 33 games in A ball. The trade looked like a strict money dump, but Ryan has quietly developed into a decent prospect over the last year and a half. Ryan, who spent most of this year between High-A St. Lucie and AA Binghamton, is the focus of this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.

After coming over from the Indians last summer, Ryan began his Mets’ tenure with Low A Columbia, where he pitched to a 2.08 ERA in eight appearances and struck out 13 batters in 13 innings pitched. The Mets liked what they saw out of Ryan and promoted him to St. Lucie at the start of this season, where he dominated the Florida State League, going 1-0 with a 1.77 ERA in 16 appearances. Ryan demonstrated strong control, putting together a 23:5 strikeout to walk ratio in 20.1 innings pitched while opposing hitters batted just .200 against him. Those tremendous results earned Ryan a quick promotion to AA Binghamton, where he has spent the rest of the season. Ryan has had his ups and downs at the AA level, going 3-2 with a 3.98 ERA in 25 appearances for the Rumble Ponies, but the big positive was that Ryan continued to demonstrate his outstanding control. Over 31.2 innings for Binghamton this season, Ryan has put together a 35:10 strikeout to walk ratio while opponents have hit just .222 against him.

While Ryan still does not rank among the Mets’ top 30 prospects, he is definitely trending in the right direction. Ryan, like many of the relief pitching prospects the Mets acquired last summer, relies on an upper 90’s fastball along with a solid slider as a secondary pitch. There is still a lot of work to do for Ryan to advance in the farm system, but he has at least made the Bruce deal look less like a salary dump than it originally appeared. The Mets don’t have to add Ryan to their 40 man roster this winter, so there is no rush to get him to the major leagues. Ryan may start the 2019 campaign with Binghamton again, but he should pitch for the Mets’ new AAA affiliate in Syracuse at some point if all goes well. That would open the door for a late season cameo at the big league level for Ryan, who is one of just two relievers that the Mets acquired in last summer’s deadline deals that hasn’t reached the majors yet.

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