That season, he impressed in the New York-Penn League, ranking in the top ten in batting average and stealing 11 bases in 14 attempts. Ryan won the batting title in the Midwest League in 2004 (.322), stole 30 bases and was an All-Star.
His injury problems began to surface in 2005, as he missed a month with a hamstring strain. But Ryan still earned a mid-season promotion from Palm Beach to Springfield (Double-A) and was rewarded by being added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster late in the season.
Ryan had the unique situation of playing at four different stops in the Cardinals system this past season while rehabbing after suffering a wrist injury that was thought to be minor, but ended up sidelining him for three months.
After getting just 117 at-bats during the regular season, the Cardinals named Ryan their priority player in the Arizona Fall League. That means he is considered a regular and accordingly starts most days at shortstop in the second spot in the lineup for the Peoria Saguaros.
Ryan has almost doubled his plate appearances in Arizona. He is hitting .314/.352/.441 in 102 AFL at-bats. He has hit two home runs and driven in 17. Ryan's 45 total bases lead his club by a wide margin. Unfortunately, so do his eight errors.
Ryan taking infield
In this exclusive interview, Brendan Ryan discusses his health, the 2006 season including some regrets and a look forward to 2007.
Return back here for additional exclusive interviews with fellow prospects and AFL players Amaury Marti, Dennis Dove, Eric Haberer, Stuart Pomeranz and Mike Parisi.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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