Scouting Mets' Prospect #44: Royce Ring

The New York Mets acquired LHP Royce Ring from the White Sox in 2003 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 #44 among the Top 50 Mets' prospects.

(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)

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

Sometimes, 'backing up' in baseball terms can be a good thing. Alert fielders back up errant throws, saving runs, while useful utility players fill roles by backing up starting performers.

The kind of 'backing up' pitcher Royce Ring performed in spring training, however, was markedly less illustrious.

Not on the Mets' roster of invitees for camp, Ring came to Tradition Field from the minor league complex during Grapefruit League contests to, for lack of a better description, serve as a human shield between the left-field bullpen and incoming baseballs tagged by batters.

But, it turned out, the grind of 'backing up' became a blessing for Ring anyway.

While at Tradition Field, the Mets ran out of pitching often enough for the 24-year-old left-hander to find his way into 8-2/3 innings of exhibition ball – just enough to open some eyes on the Mets coaching staff and, eventually, earn his first major league call-up in late April.

"I showed up ready and did my job and it paid off," said Ring, who went 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 15 appearances with New York.

"It's just a good experience to have, especially with the players the organization has up there like Pedro [Martinez] and Tom [Glavine]. They're all guys you can approach. It's something I can use to propel me toward this upcoming season."

In retrospect, the big step forward for Ring – acquired by the Mets from the Chicago White Sox in the July 2003 Roberto Alomar trade – was when pitching coach Rick Peterson took the lefty aside and recommended he try throwing from a more sidearm angle.

The thinking was sound. With Ring's velocity down from the 95 MPH he used to crack in three years at San Diego State University, slinging balls inside at left-handed batters would provide a better chance to stick as a specialist.

It was the timing that caught Ring by surprise: Peterson's suggestion came with just a week left before the Mets began the regular season.

"I had to just grit my teeth and do my best," Ring said. "It worked out, but I've got some things to work on still. This time I'll have a little extra head start before the season, and that'll be nice."

In practice, the new sidearm angle seemed to work fine. Ring spent most of the season tooling at Triple-A Norfolk, where he went 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA and two saves in 33 appearances. Left-handed batters hit just .145 (8-for-55) against Ring, although right-handed hitters slugged a .299 (26-for-87) clip.

2006 will present another opportunity for Ring to latch on with the Mets as a left-handed specialist, after veteran Dae-Sung Koo filled the role for most of the year and rookie Tim Hamulack passed over Ring for a September call-up.

Once billed as the Mets' 'closer of the future' – "I still hear it, especially from fans," he says – Ring has accepted the idea that his future may instead be as a left-handed arm out of the bullpen.

Pointing to the solid job performed by Neal Cotts of the Chicago White Sox this season, Ring says being labeled a specialist wouldn't be a bad way to make a living.

"That's definitely a career I could do for a long time," Ring said. "If you can get it wired out and figured out, that can be a great job. A lot of teams need that left-handed guy to get out of key situations. You need a guy like that."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2005

Norfolk

3-0

2

38.2

34

13

26

3.26

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



Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Slider.

Fastball. Ring used to have a plus major league fastball back when he was pitching for San Diego State. His fastball, which used to sit 90-93 MPH range and top off at 95 MPH in college, now sits in the 86-90 MPH range these days. He has excellent movement on his fastball and is able to work both sides of the plate with it. But with the lost velocity, Ring has become a backwards pitcher, setting up his fastball with solid secondary pitches.

Other Pitches. Ring has a very good curveball, which he seldom uses. He has a very good circle changeup and slider. Ring favors 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. He's been able to get a lot more movement with his secondary pitches by dropping his arm angle.

Pitching. While Ring was more of a power pitcher in college, Ring has developed into a solid breaking ball pitcher. 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, as evidenced by 10 walks in his first 15 appearances with the Mets.

Projection. Ring has become more specialized out of the bullpen. Once able to overpower hitters with his fastball, Ring used to project as a possible closer at the major league level. And even when his fastball went down a few ticks on the radar gun, because his secondary pitchers were still very good, it seemed as if Ring could turn into a solid setup guy down the road. As it turns out, due to the dramatic differences in his success against left-handed hitters versus right-handed hitters, Ring has become more of a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. It is because of his very specialized role with the Mets that Ring has slipped in the prospect rankings so dramatically.

ETA. N/A. Ring already made his Major League debut with the Mets in 2005, so his time at the major league level is the present. Ring has an opportunity to be a lefty specialist with the big league club in 2006. At 25 years old and with two AAA seasons under his belt, there's no more projection left in Ring's game. He is what he is, and now, it is now up to the Mets to decide whether or not to use Ring as a lefty specialist or package him in a future deal.

____________________________________________________

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Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)
\r\n
\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Royce Ring
\r\nPosition: Relief Pitcher
\r\nDOB: December 21, 1980
\r\nHeight: 6'0\"
\r\nWeight: 220
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Left
\r\n
\r\nSometimes, 'backing up' in baseball terms can be a good thing. Alert fielders back up errant throws, saving runs, while useful utility players fill roles by backing up starting performers.\r\n

\r\nThe kind of 'backing up' pitcher Royce Ring performed in spring training, however, was markedly less illustrious. \r\n

\r\nNot on the Mets' roster of invitees for camp, Ring came to Tradition Field from the minor league complex during Grapefruit League contests to, for lack of a better description, serve as a human shield between the left-field bullpen and incoming baseballs tagged by batters.\r\n

\r\nBut, it turned out, the grind of 'backing up' became a blessing for Ring anyway. \r\n

\r\nWhile at Tradition Field, the Mets ran out of pitching often enough for the 24-year-old left-hander to find his way into 8-2/3 innings of exhibition ball – just enough to open some eyes on the Mets coaching staff and, eventually, earn his first major league call-up in late April.\r\n

\r\n\"I showed up ready and did my job and it paid off,\" said Ring, who went 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 15 appearances with New York. \r\n

\r\n\"It's just a good experience to have, especially with the players the organization has up there like Pedro [Martinez] and Tom [Glavine]. They're all guys you can approach. It's something I can use to propel me toward this upcoming season.\"\r\n

\r\nIn retrospect, the big step forward for Ring – acquired by the Mets from the Chicago White Sox in the July 2003 Roberto Alomar trade – was when pitching coach Rick Peterson took the lefty aside and recommended he try throwing from a more sidearm angle.\r\n

\r\nThe thinking was sound. With Ring's velocity down from the 95 MPH he used to crack in three years at San Diego State University, slinging balls inside at left-handed batters would provide a better chance to stick as a specialist. \r\n

\r\nIt was the timing that caught Ring by surprise: Peterson's suggestion came with just a week left before the Mets began the regular season.\r\n

\r\n\"I had to just grit my teeth and do my best,\" Ring said. \"It worked out, but I've got some things to work on still. This time I'll have a little extra head start before the season, and that'll be nice.\"\r\n

\r\nIn practice, the new sidearm angle seemed to work fine. Ring spent most of the season tooling at Triple-A Norfolk, where he went 3-0 with a 3.26 ERA and two saves in 33 appearances. Left-handed batters hit just .145 (8-for-55) against Ring, although right-handed hitters slugged a .299 (26-for-87) clip.\r\n

\r\n2006 will present another opportunity for Ring to latch on with the Mets as a left-handed specialist, after veteran Dae-Sung Koo filled the role for most of the year and rookie Tim Hamulack passed over Ring for a September call-up.\r\n

\r\nOnce billed as the Mets' 'closer of the future' – \"I still hear it, especially from fans,\" he says – Ring has accepted the idea that his future may instead be as a left-handed arm out of the bullpen. \r\n

\r\nPointing to the solid job performed by Neal Cotts of the Chicago White Sox this season, Ring says being labeled a specialist wouldn't be a bad way to make a living.\r\n

\r\n\"That's definitely a career I could do for a long time,\" Ring said. \"If you can get it wired out and figured out, that can be a great job. A lot of teams need that left-handed guy to get out of key situations. You need a guy like that.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Year

Team

W-L

\r\n SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2005

\r\n

\r\n Norfolk

\r\n

\r\n 3-0

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 38.2

\r\n

\r\n 34

\r\n

\r\n 13

\r\n

\r\n 26

\r\n

\r\n 3.26

2004

\r\n

\r\n Norfolk

\r\n

\r\n 3-1

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 34.2

\r\n

\r\n 37

\r\n

\r\n 12

\r\n

\r\n 22

\r\n

\r\n 3.63

\r\n

\r\n 2004

\r\n

\r\n Binghamton

\r\n

\r\n 2-2

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 28.2

\r\n

\r\n 25

\r\n

\r\n 11

\r\n

\r\n 23

\r\n

\r\n 3.77

\r\n

\r\n 2003

\r\n

\r\n Binghamton

\r\n

\r\n 3-0

\r\n

\r\n 7

\r\n

\r\n 22.0

\r\n

\r\n 13

\r\n

\r\n 11

\r\n

\r\n 18

\r\n

\r\n 1.66

\r\n

\r\n 2003

\r\n

\r\n Birmingham

\r\n

\r\n 1-4

\r\n

\r\n 19

\r\n

\r\n 36.0

\r\n

\r\n 33

\r\n

\r\n 14

\r\n

\r\n 44

\r\n

\r\n 2.52

\r\n

\r\n 2002

\r\n

\r\n Winston-Salem

\r\n

\r\n 2-0

\r\n

\r\n 5

\r\n

\r\n 23.0

\r\n

\r\n 20

\r\n

\r\n 11

\r\n

\r\n 22

\r\n

\r\n 3.91

\r\n

\r\n 2002

\r\n

\r\n Arizona

\r\n

\r\n 0-0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 5.0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 9

\r\n

\r\n 0.00


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Slider.
\r\n
\r\nFastball. Ring used to have a plus major league fastball back when he was pitching for San Diego State. His fastball, which used to sit 90-93 MPH range and top off at 95 MPH in college, now sits in the 86-90 MPH range these days. He has excellent movement on his fastball and is able to work both sides of the plate with it. But with the lost velocity, Ring has become a backwards pitcher, setting up his fastball with solid secondary pitches.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches. Ring has a very good curveball, which he seldom uses. He has a very good circle changeup and slider. Ring favors 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. He's been able to get a lot more movement with his secondary pitches by dropping his arm angle.
\r\n
\r\nPitching. While Ring was more of a power pitcher in college, Ring has developed into a solid breaking ball pitcher. 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, as evidenced by 10 walks in his first 15 appearances with the Mets.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Ring has become more specialized out of the bullpen. Once able to overpower hitters with his fastball, Ring used to project as a possible closer at the major league level. And even when his fastball went down a few ticks on the radar gun, because his secondary pitchers were still very good, it seemed as if Ring could turn into a solid setup guy down the road. As it turns out, due to the dramatic differences in his success against left-handed hitters versus right-handed hitters, Ring has become more of a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. It is because of his very specialized role with the Mets that Ring has slipped in the prospect rankings so dramatically.
\r\n
\r\nETA. N/A. Ring already made his Major League debut with the Mets in 2005, so his time at the major league level is the present. Ring has an opportunity to be a lefty specialist with the big league club in 2006. At 25 years old and with two AAA seasons under his belt, there's no more projection left in Ring's game. He is what he is, and now, it is now up to the Mets to decide whether or not to use Ring as a lefty specialist or package him in a future deal.
\r\n
\r\n____________________________________________________
\r\n
\r\nSubscribe to NYfansonly.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Inside Pitch Magazine 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.
\r\n
\r\nSample the NYfansonly.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 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.
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