Ryan Stadanlick has taken a long path to get where he is. The 22 year right-hander actually starred as a power-hitting outfielder at St. Joseph 's University. However, scouts saw a hole in his swing that would have kept him very low on draft boards, so he decided to dedicate himself to honing his live arm on the pitcher's mound entering his final year at school. Unfortunately, Stadanlick had some eligibility issues and was unable to show off his skills in his new role immediately before the draft. Luckily for the Orioles, Stadanlick's coach, Shawn Pender, used to work as a cross-checker in the Baltimore front office, so they felt they had a better read on him than other teams. They made him a 10th round selection in the 2005 draft and he signed quickly for $55,000.
DOB: 08/03/84 Height: 6-3 Weight: 210 B/T: R/R
Ryan Stadanlick's age 22 season:
As with most converted position players, Stadanlick has a power arsenal and little refinement. He sits in the 92-94 MPH range with his fastball, which has good downward movement. With 6 hit batsmen and 9 wild pitches in 24 innings pitched, however, it is obvious he doesn't always know where it is going. His slider sits around 80 MPH and, although it is still behind the fastball, Stadanlick has made strides adding depth to the pitch. Without a serviceable changeup, Stadanlick has been rendered ineffective against left-handers, who slugged .342/.458/.474 against him in a pitcher‘s league. He also had trouble pitching from the stretch, a problem that the organization feels with be less of a concern with more experience.
Stadanlick is also a very good athlete, as evidenced by the fact that he led his college team in home runs and stolen bases his sophomore year. This should allow him to field his position well and repeat his delivery more easily.
With the potential for two plus pitches and a pitbull demeanor on the mound, Stadanlick is destined for bullpen work. However, he has a much higher ceiling than most other 22 year old relievers that have yet to make their full season debut. His pitches are raw, certainly, but Stadanlick also has very little wear and tear on his arm. Plus, his athleticism should go a long way towards helping him stay healthy. In short, Stadanlick has a wide gap between what he is and what he could be, but he has a lot of factors in his favor to allow him to get there. He will begin next season in Delmarva's bullpen. While it may be until his mid-20's before Stadanlick is seen as a viable candidate for the major league bullpen, the Orioles are confident that he has the tools to succeed.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com