Pokes in the Pros-Ryan Budde

Former OSU catcher Ryan Budde had to take a step back to move forward. Budde, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday (Aug. 15), played in the Texas League All-Star Game last year with Double-A Arkansas.

But two months later he was sent down to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) to make room for the minors' top catching prospect, Jeff Mathis. The parent Anaheim Angels wanted Budde, who is a major league prospect due to his strong defensive skills, to play on a regular basis.

With Mathis still in Arkansas, Budde remains at Rancho Cucamonga, where he is enjoying his best offensive season as a pro. He's batting .262 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs.

Budde, a Midwest City native, made a brief appearance with Triple-A Salt Lake at mid-season, batting .235 in five games.

Budde played for OSU from 1999-2001. In 2000, he was a Big 12 honorable mention selection. His biggest moment of the season came when he belted a three-run walkoff homer to beat Iowa State on May 5.

Budde's college career ended prematurely when he suffered a knee injury in March 2001. Three months later, Budde signed with the Angels after being selected in the 12th round.

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