When the Twins acquired Joe Ryan, there was plenty for the organization to be excited about since he was considered a top-100 prospect. He was an Olympian pitching in the high minors that seemed to be MLB ready. There were some apparent flaws in his minor league scouting reports but those haven't been evident during the tremendous start to his career. Twins Daily's Nash Walker compiled a brief highlight video of Ryan's exceptional introduction to Minnesota, please give it a watch.
Through his first two starts, he has used his fastball 66% of the time. He has recorded five strikeouts with the pitch, and opponents held to a .120 batting average and a .280 slugging percentage. His fastball has played well so far, but he does use it much more than his other pitches.
Underdeveloped Secondary Pitches
One of the other knocks against Ryan was reports that his secondary pitches were underdeveloped because he had been able to rely so much on his fastball. His slider sits in the mid-80s, and it is his best secondary pitch. His curveball and changeup have been used even less often because of when those pitches are needed.
With no 2020 minor league season, Ryan was able to work at Tampa’s alternate site and instructional league to refine his secondary pitches. His slider was graded as a 55 by MLB Pipeline, and he uses it as a strikeout pitch against right-handed hitters. His changeup is the pitch he tends to use more often against left-handed hitters. Both his changeup and curveball were given a 45 grade.
His slider (14.4%) has been the most used of his secondary pitches through his first two starts. Right-handed batters struggle to pick up the pitch out of his hand, which has resulted in a .111 slugging percentage. Batters have yet to record a hit against his changeup or his curveball. MLB Pipeline said both of those pitches “aren’t quite there yet,” and that doesn’t seem to be the case.
When the Twins traded for Ryan, scouting reports had him as a mid-rotation starter with a chance to make an immediate impact. Fans can now hope that he can be better than those reports and sit near the top of the Twins’ rotation for most of the next decade.
What are your impressions of Ryan so far? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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