RYNE Thomas STANEK
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   ASTROS
Height: 6' 4" Bats:   R
Weight: 225 Throws:   R
DOB: 7/26/1991 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 35  
Birth City: St. Louis, MO
Draft: Rays #1 - 2013 - Out of Univ. of Arkansas
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2013 - did not play                            
2014 GCL GCL-Rays   1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2014 FSL CHARLOTTE   3 13 13 4 5 3 0 0 0 1 1   5.54
2014 MWL BOWLING GREEN   9 44.2 47 46 13 9 0 0 0 3 4   3.63
2015 SL MONTGOMERY   16 61.2 52 41 31 8 0 0 1 4 3   4.09
2015 FSL CHARLOTTE   9 50.2 33 38 15 9 0 0 0 4 2   1.78
2016 IL DURHAM   16 24.1 22 22 13 0 0 0 1 2 4   5.92
2016 SL MONTGOMERY   18 78.1 64 91 35 11 0 0 2 2 6   3.79
2017 IL DURHAM   37 44.2 26 60 16 0 0 0 8 3 0   1.21
2017 AL RAYS   21 20 26 29 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.317 5.85
2018 IL DURHAM   10 9.2 5 17 6 0 0 0 2 0 1   1.86
2018 AL RAYS   59 66.1 45 81 27 29 0 0 0 2 3 0.191 2.98
2019 NL RAYS $564.00 41 55.2 44 61 20 27 0 0 0 0 2 0.214 3.40
2019 NL MARLINS   22 21.1 17 28 19 0 0 0 1 0 2 0.215 5.48
2020 NL MARLINS $224.00 9 10 11 11 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.275 7.20
2021 AL ASTROS   72 68 36 83 37 0 0 0 2 3 5 0.186 3.42
Personal
  • Stanek's senior year at Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kansas, he committed to a baseball scholarship to the University of Arkansas.

    And Ryne passed up the Mariners offers after they chose him in the 3rd round, accepting the baseball scholarship to Arkansas.

  • His parents named him after Ryne Sandberg, surprising because they were St. Louis Cardinals fans.

  • At Arkansas, Stanek majored in recreation and sports management.
  • In 2013, Stanek got drafted by the Rays (see Transactions below).

  • In 2013, Ryne was named the top prospect from the Southeastern Conference by Baseball America and Perfect Game. As a junior at the University of Arkansas, he went 10-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 16 starts. For his college career, he went 22-8 with a 2.55 ERA in 48 appearances (45 starts).

    He was selected as the preseason SEC Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America, named to the midseason watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and a selected as a preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game. In 2012, he pitched for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

  • Stanek was named after Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg despite being born into a family of St. Louis Cardinals fans.

  • Ryne is the son of Mark and Lisa Stanek. He has one brother, Brendan, and one sister, Alex.

  • In 2014, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Stanek as the 11th-best prospect in the Rays' organization. He fell to #24 in the spring of 2015. Ryne missed the book in 2016, but was at #13 in 2017.

  • Sept 20-23, 2021: Stanek was on the paternity list.

           TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2013: The Rays chose Stanek in the first round. Three weeks later, Ryne signed for a bonus of $1,755,800, via Rickey Drexler.

  • July 31, 2019: The Marlins traded RHP Nick Anderson and RHP Trevor Richards to the Rays for RF Jesus Sanchez and RHP Ryne Stanek.

  • Dec 2, 2020; Stanek became a free agent after being non-tendered by the Marlins.

  • Jan. 7, 2021: The Astros signed reliever Ryne Stanek to a one-year contract worth $1.1 million. (Editor's note: What a bargain.)
  • March 22, 2022: Stanek and the Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.1 million contract.
Pitching
  • Stanek has a plus 95-100 mph 4-seam FASTBALL with late arm side life that bores in on righthanded hitters. In July 2017. He also has a hard swing-and-miss 89-91 mph vertical SLIDER with a 50 grade. And he has some feel for a below-average 88-91 mph fading CHANGEUP that also has boring action. He also has an 89-92 mph SPLITTER that most call his changeup.

  • Possessing a quirky three-quarters delivery, Stanek is a power pitcher with a loose arm that can generate natural sink to his pitches. He shows confidence in his changeup by mixing it consistently at any time in the count. Stanek is working on staying on top of the ball and improving his command after pitching up in the zone too often.

    Ryne's Scouting Grades: He has a 60 fastball, and a 50 grade slider, a 50 grade splitter plus a 40 on his changeup. And he has a fringe-average control for a 45. (Spring, 2017)

  • 2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 67% of the time; Change 14.6% of the time; Slider 14.9% of the time; and Curve .5% of the time.

  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 60.9% of the time; Slider 26.3%; and his Split 13.6% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 98.6 mph, Slider 89.7, and Split 88.9 mph.

  • 2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 55.8% of the time; Slider 22.3%; and his Split 21.9% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 97.9 mph, Slider 90.1, and Split 88.4 mph.

  • In 2017, Stanek added his SPLITTER before spring training, and now Mr. Splitty looks like his high-octane 100 mph heater to the hitter, but has drop-off-the-table sink that has the batter flailing at the air.

  • Ryne has a seemingly effortless delivery that provides impressive heat. It is a sound arm motion, except that he throws slightly across his body with an arm swing. He throws from a good downhill plane, though.

    He has made great progress learning to control his lean 6-foot-4 frame and to repeat his delivery, though his deep take-away and wrap behind his back sometimes hinders his command. If Stanek can fully harness his command, he has back-of-the-rotation starter stuff.

    But the questions about his command "forced" a move to the bullpen two months into the 2016 season. He has that long arm swing and still hasn't shown that he has the body control or timing to have a consistent arm slot and release point. He may just not be athletic enough. So, the bullpen looks like his permanent home. (Spring, 2017)

  • Stanek has an electric right arm and pitches with an aggressive approach.

  • Ryne pitches with "a little bit of a high elbow in the back—it makes his hand come out on the side of the ball at times,” a National League scouting director said late in the summer of 2011. “It probably gives (his stuff) life, but also can create a little command issue. But I don’t think he’ll have to be a guy with big command; his life’s so good that he just has to have average or better control and I think he’ll do that.”

  • He is a solid competitor.

  • Some teams project Stanek as a reliever, but the Rays will continue to develop him as a starter with back-end potential in the rotation. (Spring 2015)

  • In August 2017, Ryne was called up to the Rays, and he had a splitter to go with his 100-plus heater.

    "I think [Triple-A Durham pitching coach] Kyle [Snyder] and he discussed that maybe there was some more comfort with that pitch to put guys away with," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "And he kind of chose to attempt that over the slider for a couple of weeks, and I think he got really good results with it. So he changed a little bit. He said, 'I'm going to be more of a fastball-split guy rather than a fastball-slider guy.' And he saw his success go in a good direction."

    After he was optioned back to Durham, Stanek recorded a 0.51 ERA, allowing one earned run with eight walks and 22 strikeouts in 16 appearances. His last 14 appearances were scoreless.  Ryne had experimented with the splitter during the 2016 offseason and in 2017 Spring Training, but didn't really buy into it until he returned to Durham.

    "I went down there and worked on it with Snyder a lot," Stanek said, "and it became a pretty big focal point for development."

    Learning the pitch required gaining a feel for the pitch.  "It's feel and being able to repeat the release point and not have one do what it's supposed to, and one do nothing," he said. "[You need] the ability to repeat something consistently. And if you can't do that, it's almost not usable."

    Stanek explained that the pitch has a "straight down action" and sometimes heads to the arm side, but it looks like a fastball to hitters before the bottom falls out. "That's the whole point, sell fastball," he said.

    Other than refining his split, Stanek said he's not that much different than before. "I don't think I changed a lot," he said.

    "I just stayed aggressive and worked on my split a lot. My approach on the mound is just to stay aggressive and make them beat me instead of nibbling, then getting behind."  (Chastain - mlb.com - 8/2/2017)

  • 2018: Between the months of June and July, Stanek earned his way into the history books, going nine consecutive starts without allowing a run. Of course, the caveat to this is that most of those starts did not see an inning past the second, but a record is a record, and this was a pretty big accomplishment by Stanek.

  • Ryan talks about his splitter:  “I picked up my split playing catch with my catching partner in Triple-A, Steve Geltz. This was during my first stint there. My changeup wasn’t very good, so I was like, ‘Show me how to throw your split.’ I’d never tried throwing one before.

    “I started messing around with one. So, Geltz was kind of like the dude who showed me how to throw it. He was letting me throw the split to him as I was trying to figure it out, and it got to be pretty decent.

    “It came time to throw it in a game. But I hadn’t really talked about it with [pitching coach] Kyle Snyder. I’d always thrown changeups in my warmups. The catcher put down a four, and I was like, ‘I guess I’m going to throw that.’ I threw it in the game and Snyder was like, ‘Dude, you can’t be doing that. Not without going over it with me.’ I was like, ‘That’s probably a good point. That’s valid.’

    “Going into that offseason, I talked to him about it being a pitch I wanted to try to incorporate. I wanted something that wasn’t just going left. So I kind of forced myself to learn it. During the season, when I was up and down, there were times they’d send me down and were like, ‘Hey, just be fastball-split for this stretch.’ They wanted me to develop it more. They kind of forced it into my head. Not force the idea into my head, but forced the consistency into it.” (David Laurila - Fangraphs - March 11, 2019)

  • 2020 Season: Stanek, 29, made his mark as the “opener” for the Rays in 2018-19, making 56 starts, none of which lasted more than two innings. He spent last season with the Marlins and allowed eight runs in 10 innings for Miami after battling COVID-19 last summer.

    “Last year in 2020, I feel like I can almost write it off as an anomaly,” he said. “It was crazy from start to finish. I felt pretty good with how I finished the season. I was throwing the ball really well. I didn’t really have a big sample size, so I think just coming in with a full season and getting back to some normalcy will definitely be a plus.”

  • 2021 Season: This past season, he posted a 3.42 ERA, with 83 strikeouts. Traded from the Rays to Houston in 2019, Stanek had struggled with his new team. This year he finally turned a corner and has continued his dominance into the postseason (two earned runs in 10 IP). Stanek allows the Nats another high leverage option.

  • As of the start of the 2022, Stanek had a career record of:  5-12 with a 3.84 ERA, having allowed 36 home runs and 189 hits in 241 innings, while striking out 293.
Career Injury Report
  • June 2013: After Stanek signed with the Rays, he was not able to pitch due to a lingering hip injury, which required hip surgery in December.
  • April 2014: Ryne was still rehabbing the hip as the season started, missing the first month of the season.

  • August 6-31, 2014: Stanek was on the D.L.

  • July 23-Aug. 6, 2015: Ryne was on the D.L.

  • July 20-Aug 5, 2019: Stanek was on the IL with right hip soreness. Rays manager Kevin Cash said that Stanek has been dealing with this injury for some time, but the club hopes that it’ll be a short stint on the injured list.

    “The worst thing that happened for Ryne, everybody appreciates the All-Star break, but when that break came, there wasn’t a ton that he was doing. And when he came back in Baltimore, it started to grab him a little more.

    “We were at a point with him that we felt that we should get this thing cleaned up, and get some treatment and some rehab going on before it becomes something that really sits him out for a long period of time." 

  • July 12, 2020: Stanek (lower back tightness) was shut down a couple of weeks into camp. Although he is now facing batters, the question is whether he will be completely ready and sharp enough for the regular season.

  • Aug 4-Sept 3, 2020: Ryne was on the IL after testing positive for Covid-19.