Draft Look Ryne Stanek RHP Blue Valley High School
When I was growing up in Kansas City we had a wonderful little league complex called 3&2 stadium. There was one at 87th street in Lenexa and one at 63rd street and Pflumm. I played for teams called Aero Plastics, Shawnee Kawasaki Honda, R Wayne Thompson Orthodontics. We played pretty much the same group of kids every year. As we got older most of the kids stopped playing and as we entered high school we saw many of our teammates get cut. Some of us were good enough to play thru high school and get picked up by Legion baseball or a top level 3&2 team. Some of us were lucky enough to go play in college. None, of us were lucky enough to play in the pros…(we did have one kid i grew up playing against , Matt Culp from Shawnee Mission South spend a year and a half in the Indians system)
*side note I played legion ball against Dreifort, Isringhausen, and Morgan Burkhart
My legion team sent 10 kids to college…most went to JUCOs in Kansas, one went to K State, I went to Riverside, California. We were good and we knew it but we also had a blast playing the game and everything we did on our own. Today, kids in Kansas City have facilities and coaching we only wish we had as kids. I am not jealous, I am very happy that my son and all of these kids will have these opportunities. I am thankful for the former major leaguers (Brian McRae, Jamie Bluma, Mike Macfarlane) that have become passionate teachers to the youth of KC.
Ryne Stanek is proof of that system…He and his teammates have been playing with each other for years and have been showcased against top level talent since before they grew body hair. Ryne is a thin RH that has committed to the University of Arkansas because he has a projectable arm that (oh, by the way) can throw 95 miles per hour. I saw him pitch on 5/4/10 against Blue Valley West and witnessed about a dozen big league scouts in attendance. Al Nipper of the Red Sox was there along with scouts from the Cubs, Royals, Marlins, and Yankees among others….
I knew the Royals scout well and he and I had a nice talk…I said when I grew up we were lucky to have a kid every 5 years get this type of attention. Today, the KC area has close to 10 kids that could be drafted. Stanek has built the most steam and could go as high as the 2nd round if reports ring true. Jason Adam of Blue Valley Northwest is another P that has scouts attention.
This is what I saw in Stanek….
fastball sits around 92 but popped 95 a few times.
body is lean and with age he could easily be sitting at 95 and popping 97-98
he gets good late movement on his fastball and throws a potentially super curve that he throws over hand and drops down to 3/4 with a decent slider. Change needs refinement.
He needs to realize (and this is a problem a lot of elite high school kids have) that his fastball can get pretty much every hitter that he faces out right now. The 2 hits off of him were opposite field “slow to catch up” hits. There is no reason for him to throw anything but fastballs to the bottom of the order. He was trying to do way to much with the scouts in attendance and his pitch count was way up in the 7th…I remember Darren Dreifort in HS knew no one could touch him and he just threw heat and was efficient and moved on. Ryne messed around with hitters way too much.
He also needs to relax…I (and every scout there) could see the stress in his body…He made a very nice play with the bases loaded in the 7th and threw the ball away that allowed 2 runs (including the tying run) to score. Hey, we make errors but both of his throwing errors happened in fast forward motion (if you have seen the that’s G commercial where Derek Jeter slows everything down you get my reference) I guess my point is his mental game needs development (which very few kids his age have anyway)…get in the zone and learn to stay there…I saw him in one game but I have already spoken with several baseball people that have seen him more and my opinion was supported.
He has committed to Arkansas and he is a first day pick in baseball….enjoy this time and embrace it…I realize that is a ton of pressure but either his parents or coach need to find a way for this process to be enjoyed….Who knows, maybe he is enjoying it but that is not what I observed or have been told by people closer to the situation.
I do want to add that I have seen a lot of fantastic high school pitchers (I spent 8 years in Los Angeles) and many had poor catchers receiving them and that can really make a difference. Stanek’s catcher is a kid named Matt Higginbotham and he is a solid receiver and controlled the game very well. There is a ton of pressure handling a kid like Stanek with all of the scouts in attendance. Myself, and the Yankees scout I spent a couple of innings with were both impressed with him. One thing for Matt (if he reads this) when Segui was called out for not tagging properly late in the game and you threw your helmet…you should have been rung right there…remember, you are a catcher and need to lead on the field…the catcher should be the glue of the team and if you lose control others lose control to…(that is my old wise man comment for the day) But, Matt you did a hell of a job and I look forward to finding out where you are playing next year…and young Mr. RF that was a fantastic throw to get the go ahead run at the plate (hat tip to Higginbotham for the catch on the throw)
Ryne Stanek or Jason Adam (maybe another) have a chance to be to Kansas City what David Cone was…I am really excited about youth baseball in this city and if you are from here you should be excited too.
* I have several videos of Stanek on the shutterfly account…just click on shutter fly on my main page and I will grant you access once I receive the request
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