In 2010, Healy graduated from Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, California. In 2009, his junior season, Ryon went 11-0 with a 1.81 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 81 innings. And he hit .468 with 3 home runs and 25 RBI.
Asked near the end of his senior high school season what it is like to be a position player as well as a pitcher, Ryon said, "Being a position player and a pitcher is really a lot of fun. People ask me all the time if I like hitting or pitching more. "And to be honest, I don't know. I love doing both, because I love having the game in the palm of my hand. I love striking out the side, but I also love hitting a towering home run over the left center field wall."
Ryon went on to the University of Oregon. In 2012, his sophomore season, Healy hit .312 with and led the Ducks with 42 RBI and 79 hits. He also hit 4 home runs.
During the summer of 2011, Healy played for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League. And Ryon returned in 2012, this time playing for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League.
- In 2013, he got drafted by the A's.
In 2014, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Healy as the 13th-best prospect in the A's organization. He is rated as the 23rd-best prospect in the A's organization in 2015. And he was 16th a year later, in 2016.
July 16, 2016: Healy stepped to the plate in the second inning in search of his first career hit, having never faced a knuckleball pitcher in his life. If he was worried, he didn't show it.
“He has grit and determination,” A's farm director Keith Lieppman said. “He has the kind of mindset that you admire in a player. When he didn’t get invited to big league camp this year, he was really frustrated and angry. He came back with a chip on his shoulder that he was going to prove everybody wrong.”
Healy launched a 66-mph R.A. Dickey offering 366 feet into the left-field stands, according to Statcast, wrapping his first career home run around the left-field foul pole and giving the A's a 4-2 lead. As Healy rounded third and high-fived third-base coach Ron Washington, the adrenaline rushing through his body subsided just enough for him to take in the moment.
"That's kind of when it hit me," he said. "I saw the guys standing at home plate and they gave me big high-fives unlike the guys in the dugout, who gave me the silent treatment, which I loved. I actually caught a glimpse of my family when I was running into the dugout, which made it more special."
Healy estimated that 12 family members (the same group that attended his Major League debut the night before) were on hand to share the moment. After going 0-for-4, Healy didn't wait long to make an impact, and he kept it going throughout the day, singling to left in the seventh.
A natural first baseman, Healy has played a clean third base through his first two games, and is making a strong impression within the clubhouse.
"He's made a lot of plays," said winning pitcher Sonny Gray, who benefited from Healy's contributions. "I don't think there's anything that looked too fast for him. He's done everything thus far that you can ask and you can hope for."
"I like his energy," said Khris Davis, who homered twice. "He comes out not scared. He's big and physical, so I can't wait to see more." (M Chiarelli - MLB.com - July 16, 2016)
Playing on a diamond is in Healy's blood. Both his mother, Laurie, and older sister, Kaitlin were pitchers in softball. And Ryon almost followed in their footsteps as a pitcher.
Ryon has greatly impressed with a mature and composed nature that has helped him through an ongoing adjustment period at the big league level
"I think it's been a nice learning curve," Healy said, "and I'm hoping that with the preparation I put in and the work I put in I can just continue to get better."
"He's got a good approach right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The more he's here, the more confident he is. He's playing every day, seeing pretty much every type of pitcher, and he's been good about making adjustments."
Healy's approach has been to clock hours with A's hitting coach Darren Bush to work on his timing against different arms. Even on his own, he's studying video of similar righthanded batters and the way they're pitched. Healy, 24, is also dogged in his ways, hurrying the pace at which he's feeling comfortable against big-league pitchers.
"He's not scared at all," Melvin said. "From the moment he got here, there was a tenacity about him. Now, he's very respectful of his teammates and the game, but he's pretty tenacious. Since he's gotten here, he's been hungry, he wants to prove himself, and he wants to stay." (Lee - MLB.com - 8/26/16)
In 2016, Healy was named the Athletics prospect player of the year.
Healy has a chip on his shoulder. He uses slights as kindling for his game. There was the tine he didn't make the varsity team in high school. And when he wasn't drafted out of high school. And then, when he had to wait until more than halfway through the season at Oregon to become a full-time player.
"Comfortable is not a word I like to use. I never want to be comfortable. But definitely confident," Ryon says.
- June 2013: The A's chose Healy in the third round, out of the University of Oregon. And he signed for a bonus of $500,000, via scout Jim Coffman.
- November 15, 2017: The Mariners acquired Healy by sending SS Alexander Campos and RHP Emilio Pagan to the A's.
|Birth City:||West Hills, CA|
|Draft:||A's #3 - 2013 - Out of Univ. of Oregon|
- Healy's strong forearms should help produce some prodigious power in the near-future. He has the quick bat speed in his swing to be a power hitter in the 20-25 per year range. He just needs to add loft to his righthanded stroke.
Ryon has a good feel for hitting and is willing to use the whole field. But his power is to left or center field.
He gets a 50 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale for both his power and his hitting tool.
In 2014, the Athletics give Healy tremendous credit for sticking with it in high Class A Stockton. He didn't let himself get buried by his .185 average in April and recovered to hit.326/.356/.469 in the second half.
His rhythm at the plate and path to the ball improved over the course of the year, while he gets in trouble when he starts pulling off and trying too much to lift the ball. (Spring 2015)
Healy takes short swings and hits as many line drives as any hitter in the system. He can lash balls from line-to-line, but is at his best going up the middle.
He has the size and physicality to hit for solid power, but it mostly comes in the form of doubles. The A's have worked with him to try to get him to pull more balls. (Spring 2016)
"His at-bats at the Major League level, against good pitching, have been excellent,” A's farm director Keith Lieppman said in September 2016. “His approach and plate discipline have been great. Everything that he’s built his foundation upon is being played out at the big league level.”
The A's had a bunch of solid corner infield prospects, but Ryon is also a standout.
“He refused to be forgotten, and he just forced the organization to move him,” A's farm director Keith Lieppman said. “He did very well last year, and he returned with more focus and determination. He really wants people to know that he has an approach that will work in the Major Leagues. He’s putting up one good at-bat after another.”
After his big 2015, Healy looked for a way to hit more home runs. “I spent a lot of time in the offseason fixing mechanical issues with my swing to give me a better opportunity to hit for power,” Healy said. He also had a plan to improve in another way.
“I worked on my mental game, too,” he said. “There’s a guy in spring training named Ed Sprague (the former big league third baseman) who helps a ton with the mental game. We talked about what pitches to look for and what pitches to hit. It helps a lot to talk to someone who has played at the highest level.”
He has also become more of a thinking hitter, studying pitchers and learning their patterns. (Casey Tefertiller - Baseball America - 6/17/2016)
Healy's goal heading into the 2016 season was to become much more of a power hitter. In his words, "To do more damage.
"I wanted to increase my fly ball percentage," Ryon said. "That's a big deal because home runs and doubles are on fly balls, not the ground balls I was hitting. It's definitely healthy to have a blend of both, but I knew I needed to hit more fly balls than I had.
"There was a lot going on for a pretty simple concept."
Working with A's Minor League consultant Ed Sprague in 2016 spring camp, Healy quieted his movements in the batter's box, particularly his hands, which allowed him to get more loft in is swing and produce the fly balls he sought.
"If you want to make adjustments," Healy says, "you really need to know yourself first. Sprague really helped me get to know myself." (Chris Gable - Athletics Magazine - June 2017)
- As of the start of the 2018 season, Ryon's career Major League stats were: .282 batting average, 38 home runs and 238 hits, with 115 RBI in 845 at-bats.
Healy had questionable range at third base, but worked very hard, making it a viable option. He may still end up at first base, but the A's are still working with Ryon at the hot corner. His arm is not real strong. But it is his bat that will keep him to the Majors. He has a 45 grade arm and a 40 mark for his fielding. (Spring 2017)
"His feet have gotten better,” Lieppman said. “His throwing actions have improved. He getting more confident at the position. He’s still a really big man at that hot corner, but to have the versatility . . . is good for him.”
Although Healy mainly played first base for Oregon, the A's are finding the early returns are encouraging with Healy at third. They're hopeful he'll have the potential flexibility they so covet.
He can handle the routine plays and shows enough arm strength and range to handle the job. He will continue making starts at first, third and DH as he moves up through the organization.
Healy's worked hard to become a serviceable third baseman since turning pro. He's deceptively athletic and has a strong enough arm.
Ryon worked intently to learn to play the hot corner, so he'd be prepared if the need were to come. Shortly after the 2016 Futures Game, the Athletics advanced him to the Majors as their everyday third baseman. He rose to the challenge and has more than held his own at the new position.
In 2016 at Double-A, Healy played mostly first base in deference to Matt Chapman and then Renato Nunez at Triple-A. Still, he hit .326 with 46 extra-base hits in 85 games to punch his ticket to Oakland. Healy kept hitting in the big leagues—he led the Athletics with an .861 OPS—and soon supplanted Danny Valencia as the club’s starting third baseman. He also launched a 480-foot home run in Kansas City on Sept. 15 that stands as the third-longest dinger of the season hit outside of Coors Field. (Spring 2017)
- With the Mariners in 2018, with Kyle Seager entrenched at third base, Healy will play first again.
- Ryon is a below-average runner, with a 35 grade.
- July 8-16, 2015: Healy was on the D.L.