Joe Ryan

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Note: This page is for 2020s pitcher Joe Ryan; for others with the same name, click here.

Joseph Philip Ryan

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Joe Ryan made his major league debut shortly after earning a silver medal with Team USA in the 2020 Olympics.

Ryan was taken by the San Francisco Giants in the 39th round of the 2014 amateur draft out of high school (two picks before Drew Rasmussen) but opted for college. He was excellent as a freshman at Cal State Northridge (3-0, Sv, 1.48 ERA, .73 WHIP, 32 K, .136 opponent average in 30 1/3 IP). [1] He had two saves and a 1.13 ERA for the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod League that summer, striking out 12 in 8 innings. Back at Northridge, he slipped to 1-2, 3.35 as a sophomore. He had a 2-1, 2.12 record for the '16 Firebirds. Had he qualified, he would have made the top ten in ERA.

Joe struggled in 2017 while battling injury (0-1, 12.79 in 5 G). He transferred to Cal State Stanislaus as a senior and was 8-1 with a 1.65 ERA. He tied Alex Vesia and Preston Mott for second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association in wins, led in whiffs (127, 39 more than Mott) and led in ERA (.29 ahead of Vesia). The Tampa Bay Rays picked him in the 7th round of the 2018 amateur draft, one pick before Andrew Wantz. The scout was Alan Hull. [2]

He made his pro debut with the Hudson Valley Renegades, posting a 2-1, 3.72 record with 51 whiffs in 36 1/3 IP. He was one of the top minor league hurlers of 2019, split between the Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-2, 2.93, 47 K in 27 2/3 IP), Charlotte Stone Crabs (7-2, 1.42, 112 K, 12 BB, 47 H in 82 2/3 IP) and Montgomery Biscuits (3.38 ERA, 24 K in 13 1/3 IP). He struck out 183 in 123 2/3 innings for the year, with a 1.96 ERA and .84 WHIP. He had the third-most strikeouts ever by a Rays minor leaguer; Matt Moore had the top two spots. [3] He was among the minor leagues' leaders in ERA (4th, after Cristian Javier, Seth Corry and Michael Plassmeyer), K/9 (3rd, after Javier and Deivi Garcia), opponent average (.173, 4th, after Javier, Garrett Hill and Corry) and strikeouts (2nd, 2 behind Kris Bubic). [4] Baseball America rated him as the #10 prospect in the Florida State League, between Jordan Balazovic and Shane McClanahan. [5] They also listed him as the #98 prospect in the minors. [6] He won the Rays' Minor League Pitcher of the Year. [7]

The 2020 season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, though. He returned in 2021 with the Durham Bulls. He took a break from the team to join Team USA for the Americas Olympic Qualifier. He got the start against the Dominican national team, one of the other top contenders. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing one walk and four hits but three runs (a solo homer by Juan Francisco, a two-run double by Emilio Bonifacio) before Edwin Jackson relieved; he did have a 4-3 lead, doing better than MLB veteran Radhamés Liz. The US won a slugfest and would wind up claiming a spot in the 2020 Olympics (still called the 2020 Olympics, even though they were being held in 2021). He was third in the event with ten strikeouts though, behind Raúl Valdés and Yariel Rodríguez. [8] He was then one of the carry-overs for the team for the Olympics themselves, joined by another pitcher surnamed Ryan, Ryder Ryan. [9]

On July 22, 2021, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins alongside Durham teammate Drew Strotman in return for All-Star DH Nelson Cruz and P Calvin Faucher. He was in Tokyo preparing for the start of the Olympic Games at the time, and was part of the effort that earned the U.S. a Silver Medal. He got the start against Israel and allowed one run in six (5 H, 0 BB, 5 K), on a solo shot by Danny Valencia. He got the win over Joey Wagman. He faced defending Gold Medalist South Korea in the semifinals and allowed one run in 4 1/3 IP (4 H, 1 BB, 3 K) before Ryder Ryan took over with a 2-1 lead; due to the early exit, he did not get the decision. He tied Masato Morishita for 9th in the Games in strikeouts.[10] He allowed only two runs in 9 innings, fanning 17, in two games for the St. Paul Saints after returning to the US.

He made his major league debut with the Twins on September 1st, starting against the Chicago Cubs, and gave up 3 runs in 5 innings to be charged with a 3-0 loss. He made 5 starts during the month, going 2-1, 4.05 with a 30/5 K/W ratio in 26 2/3 innings. He was then selected to be the Twins' Opening Day starter in 2022, taking the mound against the Seattle Mariners on April 8th. He lost, 2-1, that daym but then won his next three starts to get on a good roll. On September 13th, he had his best start yet against the Kansas City Royals as he did not give up a hit, walked 2 batters and struck out 9 before he was pulled from the game by manager Rocco Baldelli, having made 106 pitches. Another rookie, Jovani Moran replaced him and kept the no-hit bid going until one out in the 9th, when he walked two batters, gave up a double to Bobby Witt Jr., followed by a single and a sacrifice fly for a final score of 6-3 in favor of the Twins. Ryan got credit for his 11th win that day.


  1. Cal State Northridge
  2. 2021 Rays Media Guide, pg. 242
  3. 2021 Rays Media Guide, pg. 242
  4. 2020 Baseball Almanac, pg. 383
  5. ibid., pg. 398
  6. 2021 Rays Media Guide, pg. 242
  7. ibid., pg. 365
  8. Americas Olympic Qualifier
  9. Sporting News
  10. 2020 Olympics

Further Reading[edit]

  • Brian Hall: "So close! Twins rookies 2 outs shy of combo no-no: Ryan goes 7 hitless IP, but is pulled after 106 pitches; Moran yields 1-out double in 9th",, September 14, 2022. [1]

Related Sites[edit]