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3/26/1982 (35 y)
2003 June Amateur Draft - Round: 7, Pick: 28, Overall: 215, Team: St. Louis Cardinals
$3.2M / 1 Years (2013)
$5M / 2 Years (2014 - 2015) + 1 Option Years
Ryan signed a minor league contract with the Tigers on Monday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. (12/19/2016)
Cubs Deal Starlin Castro to the Yankees
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
Sunday Notes: Preseason Predictions, a Royals Root»
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
Worst Bunts of 2013
Matt Klaassen (FanGraphs)
SEA Mariners Infield: Depth Chart Discussions
J.P. Breen (RotoGraphs)
Mariners Have Many Options, Little Impact
Mike Newman (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
After spending his last few years aboard the Memphis-St. Louis shuttle, Brendan Ryan found regular time as the Cardinals’ shortstop, as opening day starter Khalil Greene struggled with some personal demons. As a person, Brendan Ryan is a quirky character. He does a killer DeNiro impersonation, believes in ghosts, is one of the few players who still wears stirrups, and he's been nominated for 2009 Mustached Man of the Year. As a ballplayer, Brendan Ryan is a singles-hitting shortstop with tremendous range at shortstop. In 1,200+ innings, Ryan has been worth 14 runs above average according to UZR, and the Fan's Scouting Report ranked him the fifth best defensive shortstop last season. At the plate, Ryan hit for a respectable .292/.340/.400 line, which is roughly about league average. For a shortstop with defensive skill such as Ryan's, that's tremendous. Ryan was worth 3.2 wins above replacement despite starting the season as the team's utility infielder. It should be noted that his success at the plate was out of line with his minor league numbers, and he also had a lucky .335 BABIP.
The Year Ahead:
Ryan no longer has to look over his shoulder, as the shortstop job in St. Louis is all his. His Marcel projection calls for him to be a sub-par hitter in 2010, projecting a wRC+ of 96, while CHONE projects 87. Ryan likely will not hit above .280-.285 without some luck, and despite his speed, don’t expect for him to steal more than 15 bases, as his manager puts the clamps down on the running game. While Ryan offers little in the way of fantasy value, the defense he provides at his position makes him a nice, cost-controlled commodity to the Cardinals. (Erik Manning)
Although he still provided some value with his glove, 2010 was an absolutely catastrophic year for Ryan's bat. Ryan posted a .223/.279/.294 line, producing ground out after ground out en route to one of the most miserable 486 plate appearances in the last few years. The problem, as it typically is with historically poor offensive performances, was largely in the BABIP. Ryan's was a microscopic .253, coming off the heels of a .332 BABIP in 429 PAs the season before. When the balls are finding the gaps for Ryan, he's a productive hitter, as he walks enough and makes enough contact to produce high OBPs in those situations. However, the Cardinals had seen enough and shipped him out to Seattle during the winter. Ryan was never a power hitter anyway (nine career home runs), so Safeco shouldn't have much impact on him. With his lack of power and the general inability of Seattle's hitters to bring runners home, Ryan won't have much fantasy value outside of his position -- in most leagues, he will qualify at 2B, SS, and 3B. He can steal some bases (in the teens) and should bring the batting average to an above-average number this season, but his fantasy usefulness is probably limited to the bench or deeper leagues. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Ryan was traded to the Mariners during the offseason. Look for a rebound out of Ryan, but his fantasy value is limited to batting average and a few stolen bases.
When it comes to fantasy shortstops, guys like Brendan Ryan don’t have a whole lot to offer other than playing time. Ryan will be playing every day for the Seattle Mariners due to his prowess with the glove, not his ability with the stick. The Mariners can tolerate Ryan’s problems at the plate, but since fantasy teams aren’t built on defensive metrics, you can’t. He doesn’t walk a whole lot, but he does have more value in an OBP league since shortstops with decent walk rates aren’t easy to find. On a more positive note, Ryan will likely steal over ten bases next season. So, yeah, there’s that. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Ryan doesn’t hit for a high average or steal a ton of bases, and he walks less than a league average player. If you’re selecting him in anything but a AL-only league, you’re doing it wrong.
If defensive metrics count in your league, Brendan Ryan could be useful, but in almost any other imaginable format, you really need to do better than what Ryan provides with his bat. His batting average alone could sink your standard Roto squad and there's not much added value anywhere else in his game other than perhaps a dozen steals. You could probably get more fantasy value from
Possibly the best defensive shortstop this side of Adam Everett in the last decade, Brendan Ryan has pushed the limits of what teams are willing to accept offensively from a defense-first shortstop. Ryan's defense was, well, defensible when he was hitting .259/.314/.344 for the Cardinals from 2007 to 2010. But from that time since, Ryan has "hit" .215/.285/.294 including back-to-back seasons with sub-.600 OPS numbers. Still, it's a testament to just how good Ryan's defense has been that only one of his seasons -- this past season, that is -- has resulted below-replacement play for the defensive wizard (-0.6 WAR). Ryan will back up Derek Jeter in New York next year and possibly beyond, as he signed for $5 million over two years in November. (Brandon Warne)
The Quick Opinion:
The Yankees inked Ryan to a two-year extension in November to retain him as an insurance policy to Derek Jeter's balky ankle. As a utility player, Ryan's value can be best maximized/utilized when he's played in limited spurts. A Jeter injury would thrust Ryan into full-time duty, and that would not be ideal.
Ryan, who served as Derek Jeter’s backup at shortstop for 49 games last year,
has been floated
as a possible platoon mate to Didi Gregorius for 2015. If that scenario were to come true, that could give him some value in AL-only formats, except that a) Ryan has a measly .274 weighted on-base average for his career, and b) against lefties, he’s hit just .245. Another possibility for playing time could come at second base in case the Yankees don’t make a trade or the Jose Pirela/Rob Refsnyder competition in spring training doesn’t bear fruit, but in general, it seems unlikely that Ryan will be of any use in fantasy for the upcoming season. (
Karl de Vries
The Quick Opinion:
There's not a ton of room in fantasy baseball for a right-handed platoon bat that's known for his defense, even at a tough position.
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Updated: Sunday, March 26, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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