Scouting Mets' Prospect #26: Royce Ring

The New York Mets acquired LHP Royce Ring from the White Sox in 2004 as part of the Roberto Alomar trade. Ring, an All-American at San Diego State University, was drafted by Chicago in the first round of the 2002 draft. Ring ranks #26 among the Top 50 Mets' prospects. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)</b>

Vital Statistics:
Name: Royce Ring
Position: Relief Pitcher
DOB: December 21, 1980
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 220
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

A graduate of Monte Vista High School in California, Ring attended San Diego State University after going 5-0 with one save and a 2.95 ERA his senior year of high school. Ring was not only a good pitcher in high school, he also swung a potent bat. As a senior, Ring hit .402 with 8 home runs with 39 RBI and was drafted in the 41st round by the Cleveland Indians out of high school but decided to go on to college. San Diego State was the only four-year college to offer Ring a scholarship. Used primarily as a left-handed middle relief specialist his freshman year at SDSU, Ring moved in to the closer's role his sophomore year where he was highly regarded as one of the nation's elite college closers. In 2001, Ring led the Mountain West Conference with nine saves. He went 6-2 with a 1.22 ERA, striking out 45 batters in 37 2/3 innings for the Aztecs and earned a nomination to the USA National Team. In ten relief appearances, Ring had a sparkling 0.93 ERA for the National Team. Ring secured a first round selection his junior year after going 5-1 with 17 saves for the Aztecs, keeping his ERA to 1.85 in 36 appearances and striking out 54 batters in 39 innings while earning All-American honors.

After signing with the White Sox for $1.6 million, Ring made it all the way to high-A ball with Winston-Salem after getting in just five innings in the rookie Arizona League. Despite just 28 professional innings under his belt, Ring was promoted to AA-Birmingham for the 2003 season to close for the Barons. Ring, with 19 saves to his credit, was among the Southern League leaders in saves when he was sent packing to the Mets along with Edwin Almonte and Andrew Salvo for the struggling Roberto Alomar. Honored by being traded for Alomar, Ring finished the 2003 season with a fantastic debut with the Binghamton Mets. "To be traded for a future Hall of Famer was a great honor for me. I knew that meant that the Mets must have thought very highly of me and that they'd be willing to give me a serious shot", Ring told NYfansonly.com earlier in the year.

In 2004, there was the prevailing thought that Ring could make the Mets' Opening Day roster as a left-handed setup man, but was sent to AAA-Norfolk for some more seasoning. Instead of closing for the Tides, the Mets began Ring's role as a setup man for Norfolk. Ring was steady for the Tides but did not show the same dominance he displayed at the AA-level in 2003. His strikeouts were down and he seemingly lost a little velocity on his fastball. On July 15th, the Mets sent Ring back down to AA-Binghamton to get in some more work. On July 25th, Ring told us: "No they just told me to go get some innings and then we'll bring you back up. Being down here is about getting innings, getting experience and working on mechanics. It doesn't matter what level you're at to do those things. If they want me here, St. Lucie, Norfolk, or the big leagues it doesn't matter to me. There are so many different things a pitcher can work on. You can develop a new pitch, perfect an old one, learn to throw a pitch on a different side of the plate. I try to work on stuff every day", said Ring. Royce Ring was kept on the Binghamton roster to help the B-Mets towards their Eastern League playoff run.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2004

Norfolk

3-1

0

34.2

37

12

22

3.63

2004

Binghamton

2-2

2

28.2

25

11

23

3.77

2003

Binghamton

3-0

7

22.0

13

11

18

1.66

2003

Birmingham

1-4

19

36.0

33

14

44

2.52

2002

Winston-Salem

2-0

5

23.0

20

11

22

3.91

2002

Arizona

0-0

0

5.0

0

0

9

0.00


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Slider.

Fastball. Ring has a Major League fastball, sitting in the 91-93 MPH range and can bring it as high as 95 MPH at times, although that was mostly in college. He has excellent movement on his fastball and is able to work both sides of the plate with it. Ring has lost some velocity on his fastball and has become more of a breaking ball pitcher.

Other Pitches. Ring has a very good curveball, which he seldom uses. He has a very good circle changeup and slider. Ring favors uses his slider and changeup as his breaking pitches. Once considered a hard thrower in college, Ring has become more of a breaking ball pitcher as a professional.

Pitching. While Ring was more of a power pitcher in college, Ring has come a long way towards improving his breaking ball pitches. In fact, he uses his breaking balls to set up his fastball. He's very adept at using his changeup and his fastball to work both sides of the plate and is very effective in keeping hitters off balance. Ring could use his curveball more which has been a nasty pitch for him in years past. He occasionally has bouts with control issues.

Projection. Ring has been compared to former Mets' LHP Mike Stanton. While they both throw the same speeds, Stanton is more of a curveball pitcher while Ring uses the slider and changeup more. But the comparisons are not that far off in their projected roles. Like Stanton, Ring projects to be a solid left-handed setup man and possible part-time closer should the need arise. Ring doesn't really have the plus fastball to be a full-time closer at the Major League level.

ETA. 2005. The biggest question mark for Ring's timetable is whether or not he'll still be in the Mets' organization after the Rule V draft. Ring is perhaps the best bet in the Mets' system to be plucked by another team in the Rule V Draft. If Ring is still a Met come Tuesday, December 14th, he should be back in AAA-Norfolk in 2005 and possibly could earn a spot in the Mets' bullpen at some point next season.

Subscribe to NYfansonly.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Mets Inside Pitch subscription (10 issues), Total Access Pass, and all premium content on NYfansonly.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.

Sample the NYfansonly.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 5 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual NYfansonly.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.

Subscribe to NYfansonly.com




Do you have an opinion on the Mets? Be sure to let us know on the message board. NYfansonly.com is always looking for die-hard Mets fans who would like to be writers for the site. Click here to learn more on how to become a Mets beat writer for NYfansonly.com.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories