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Jeremy Nygaard

Twins MLB Draft Profile: Ryne Stanek, RHP

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Who IS This Guy?

Ryne Stanek (6’ 4, 190) is a right-handed pitcher for the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Mariners selected him in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft, but Stanek elected to head to SEC to face the best hitters in college baseball. After enrolling in Arkansas, there was some hope that he would be eligible for the 2012 draft, but he narrowly missed the cutoff. (Players must turn 21 within 45 days of the draft.) Stanek entered this season, his junior season, in a three-horse race to be the first overall selection in the 2013 draft. He’s closing out his season with lower expectations, but still is a dark-horse candidate to be the third collegiate pitcher selected.

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Who Could He Be?

There are scouts out there that would point to his heavy mid-90s fastball, mid-80s slider and improving curveball and changeup and call him a definite Top 10 pick with a future as a frontline starter. There are other scouts out there that could see him as a dominant closer. Stanek has had a penchant for overthrowing his slider, which is no fault of his own as the pitch selection comes from the dugout. He’s also failed to consistently get the results that you’d expect out of a pitcher with his “stuff”. Is it a lack of deception? Is it because of his mechanics? Is it an over-reliance on his slider? Those are questions that have him all over draft boards.

How Soon Could He Be Playing In Target Field?

Stanek has had success in the most advanced collegiate league in the country. He led his team to the College World Series as a sophomore and has hopes of helping his team get back there again. The likelihood of whatever team drafts him is to limit his innings after signing. If he were to end up with the Twins, he would report to Fort Myers, get acclimated to the organization and likely pitch out of the bullpen in a limited role for the rest of 2013. Next year he would be shifted to starting, likely first in Fort Myers before heading to New Britain. Depending on his success in the second half, you could make a case for being in the show sometime in the summer of 2015, though the following summer would be much more likely.

(That time-table would be very similar to the one that Alex Meyer is on; Meyer could factor in this summer, but more likely make his Target Field debut next summer.)

If The Twins Draft This Guy, They Messed Up Because....

…they bought into the player they saw last summer and believe that with the right instruction Stanek can be a front-of-the-rotation starter. But based on the “what have you done for me lately?” evaluation, Stanek hasn’t been great and isn’t the fourth-best player in the draft, ceiling-wise or ability-wise.
Stanek’s Razorbacks are still active in the SEC Tournament and will also advance to the NCAA tournament, so there still is time to raise his stock. Stanek will be making his first start of the SEC Tournament on Thursday afternoon at 4:30, meeting up with #2 LSU in a game that can be watched on ESPN3.

If the Twins Draft This Guy, They Nailed It Because….

…they recognized their need for advanced pitchers and see that Stanek has a chance to fill that void. They might also be able to convince his advisor that he wasn’t going to go Top 10 otherwise (though there’s a chance) and be able to bank some savings for the later rounds. Others might argue that they nailed it simply because they drafted a pitcher in a position where some feel they need to take a pitcher.

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There is no doubt that Ryne Stanek would be a welcome addition to the stable of pitchers the Twins are developing. He would rank only behind Alex Meyer in terms of fastball velocity for starting pitchers and, more than likely, would factor into the Twins top 5-7 prospects. While everything remains very fluid up to and even during the draft, signs point towards Stanek coming off of the board in the 8-12 range, much later than when the Twins are on the clock.

Previous Twins Daily Draft Profiles:
Monday, May 20 - Sean Manaea, SP
Tuesday, May 21 - Austin Meadows, OF
Wednesday, May 22 - Trey Ball, SP/OF

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