LHP Ryan Ketchner -- Prospect #27

Latest in a series on the top Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best.

Position- Starting Pitcher
Residence- Lantana, Fla.
DOB- April 9, 1982
05 Club- Did not pitch

Ryan Ketchner will be coming back from arm surgery in 2006 but overcoming physical adversity is nothing new for him; he's been doing it practically all his life. Ketchner lost most of his hearing as a small boy so is 95 percent deaf.

That only made him more determined to succeed in baseball and acting as a inspiration to those that are physically challenged is a role he takes very seriously.

Traded to the Dodgers by the Mariners in early April 2004 in the deal that sent Jolbert Cabrera to Seattle, he had a successful season with Jacksonville (8-7, 3.02) and was promoted to the 40-man roster.

However, his arm woes started at the beginning of spring training 2005 so he was never able to show what he could do.

The hope was that physical therapy could cure him but after a setback he went under the knife.
Thus it will be somewhere around mid-season before he can return and he since has been outrighted to the minors.

Before the injury he demonstrated an uncanny feel for pitching. His fast ball rarely reaches 90 mph, his slider is average and his changeup is a bit better than that.
What he does do is exploit batters weaknesses with good command and good life on his pitches.
Hitting the desired location with regularity, he held batters to a .213 mark in 2004.
Lefties that can do that bear watching so his return will be scrutinized carefully.
He has the habit of making the most of his abilities and achieving despite handicaps so he may persevere in this time of trial as well.

Previous Selections--
#28 -- OF Justin Ruggiano
#29 -- OF Jamie Hoffman

#30 -- RHP Chris Malone
#31 -- OF Cody Ross
#32 -- RHP Josh Wall
#33 -- SS Juan Rivera
#34 -- RHP Steve Johnson

#35 -- SS Scott Van Slyke
#36 -- OF John Melon
#37 -- LHP Brent Leach
#38 -- RHP Jesus Castillo
#39 -- LHP Eric Stults

#40 -- OF Xavier Paul
#41 -- LHP Miguel Sanfler
#42 -- 3B Josh Bell
#43 -- RHP Jordan Pratt
#44 -- OF Sergio Pedroza

#45 -- RHP Julio Pimentel
#46 -- 1b-1B Eduardo Perez
#47 -- RHP James McDonald
#48 -- OF Brian Myrow
#49 -- LHP Danny Muegge

#50 -- RHP Miguel Ramirez
#51 -- OF Ryan Carter
#52 -- RHP Casey Hoorelbeke
#53 -- OF Trayvon Robinson
#54 -- RHP Ramon Troncoso