At the Park: Scouting Erie LHP Kyle Ryan

Continuing on his travels, James Chipman assesses the performance of Erie left-handed starter Kyle Ryan. How did the southpaw look in an outing earlier this month?

Kyle Ryan
22-year-old Left-handed Starting Pitcher
Double-A Erie
Date: 7/1/14

6/21/14: 6 IP 7ER 10H 1BB 5K

Body: Tall, thin wiry frame. Not much muscle definition in the upper body and core; has gained a little definition since last season though. Average strength in legs. Capable of eating innings despite his rather lanky frame. Fairly close to being in his finished man body.

Mechanics: Clean, well repeated delivery with effort that's fairly easy on the arm. Quick arm action. Extremely deceptive delivery that starts with a high leg kick and mechanics that hide the ball exceptionally well; ending as he pauses briefly before the ball's release at a 3/4 arm angle. Fairly consistent release point and action with fastball and cutter. Holds runners exceptionally well. Delivers the ball to the plate in an average amount of time: clocked at 1.29 (best) and 1.41 (worst). Still features one of the better pickoff moves I've seen in a long time.

Command: Strong command and control profile. Pounds the strike zone. Routinely gets ahead in the count. Moves the ball around to all four quads. Changes the eye level of his pitches well. Overall, Ryan has an adequate pitching IQ and is highly regarded by his teammates and coaching staff as a hard worker and a great teammate.


Fastball: 88-91 T92 wiggles; also has some sinking action low in the zone. Sustained velocity well throughout the duration of the outing. Generated lots of weak contact and missed bats; counted 11 whiffs over the outing despite the offering's rather average velocity. Flattened a bit up in the zone and was well barreled for two homers in Erie's bandbox.

Cutter: 86-87 T88 nice late action.Threw a ton of cutters. Generated lots of weak contact and murdered two bats. Plays nicely off the fastball.

Slider: 80-81 T82 slurvy offering thrown with decent depth and late action. Quality of the offering varied largely in part to arm slot variance. Regardless, encouraged with its overall progression.

Changeup: 84, straight. Only counted three of them. Arm action noticeably slowed down a tick. Didn't have a feel for the pitch this evening. Still a work in progress, likely a future below-average offering.

Ryan absolutely dominated the opposition the first time through the order; then struggled a bit to flip the lineup the second time through. The bulk of the damage came in the fourth inning with two outs (five hits, a hit batter, two homers, 5ER). Similar to previous observations Ryan remained calm and in control of his emotions, stopping the bleeding and eating six innings.

During the outing, Ryan relied almost exclusively on the fastball and cutter. The development of the slider and/or change will be paramount moving forward to define his role. Should that happen, I can squint and see Ryan as a possible "minor leaguer with a chance" for a back-end of the rotation guy that gobbles up innings. More realistically I could see the overall profile and stuff playing up a bit higher in a long relief or LOOGy role at higher levels. Perhaps I'm a tad higher on Ryan than most, but I firmly believe that there's more than the numbers suggest. Probably not a top 30 prospect in Detroit's system, but I could comfortably slot Ryan somewhere in the 35-40 range in my rankings.

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