Ryan is the son of David Weathers, former pitcher in the Majors for 19 years, mostly with the Reds, but nine different teams overall.
Loretto, Tennessee High School coach Gary Lamm said he knew Ryan Weathers would be a special player years ago when his dad used to work out at the school when he was in the offseason with the Reds.
“Ryan was probably 8 years old,” Lamm said. “I used to throw to him in the basement while David worked out upstairs. “I told David then the guy could start for us now the way he hits. He was hitting them off the back wall.
"Everybody asks me about how he was when David was a ballplayer at Loretto," Lamm said. "He's a better hitter than David and he's a better pitcher than David. I think at this point he's ahead of the curve where David was."
David, who is Loretto's pitching coach, agreed with that assessment. "He's been exposed to a lot of good baseball," he said. "His velocity is probably 6 to 8 mph better than mine was."
Weathers struck out 12 in a 4-0 win over Goodpasture in the Class A championship. He had 16 in a victory against Greenback earlier in the tournament. His total was 28 over 14 innings. The state title was Loretto’s first in any boys' sport and second in any sport, joining the 1958 girls' basketball team. (Tom Kreager - the Tennessean - 4/05/2017)
Weathers made a commitment to Vanderbilt before 2018, his senior year at Loretto High School. Ryan's competitiveness has raised his ability. He gets that not only from his dad, but also from mom, Kelli Davis Weathers, a college basketball player at Belmont University in Tennessee. She scored more than 2,000 points and earned first-team NAIA All-American honors in 1994.
"We work on his mechanics, but we talk more mental than physical," David said. "He sometimes wears his emotions on his sleeve. But that gives him an advantage. He's into every pitch, and he's such a competitor."
CLOSE TO DAD
David Weathers spent most of the 2009 season in the Reds' dugout as he wrapped up his 19-year career. David was a reliever, playing for nine MLB organizations. He was part of the Yankees' 1996 World Series championship over the Braves. He had a 73-88 record with a 4.25 ERA and 976 strikeouts.
"That year if we played 81 home games, he was there 65 times," David recalled of Ryan.
There they worked out together. Ryan fielded ground balls from his father and spent time in the bullpen.
"Since I've been able to pick up a baseball, I've been out on the field hitting and throwing," Ryan said.
Ryan's father David's Major League career spanned nearly two decades with nine teams, winning a World Series championship with the Yankees in 1996. David believes his five years in the Reds organization near the end of his career as the time that impacted Ryan the most.
Ryan spent nearly every day of his childhood at the ballpark with his dad. "Every day I was sitting there, I was watching my dad play and do his thing," Ryan said.
"His mother has a teaching certificate, so she would home school him until the season was over," David said. "He got to go as much as he wanted. I do believe that's helped develop his mannerisms. He would sit in the cages and watch Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips for hours.
"He'd sit right next to our hitting coach. He'd sit and watch the whole ballgame. I think all of those things just led to his seeing this is how you go about your business if you want be the type of player in the league."
The observations have seemed to pay off, as Ryan signed with the Padres on July 1, 2018. He was introduced at Petco Park on July 2, with dad sitting proudly in the front row.
"Most dads wouldn't take their kids to the ballpark every day," Ryan said. "He sacrificed that. He let me hit, and he hit me groundballs every day, even on days where his arm was hanging down."
Ryan and David's relationship blossomed because of baseball, but it is rooted on the mutual love and respect they have for each other. David said that despite his lengthy list of big league experiences, he never told Ryan what to do, no matter the size of the situation. The decision to sign with San Diego over attending Vanderbilt was Ryan's to make, just like the pitches he threw and the game-time choices he made as a player.
"I've never called pitches for him," David said. "I wanted him to learn himself. I never went to him, but once he got beat up good enough when he was younger, he would say, 'Dad, what am I doing wrong?' Then we would fix it."
"We both have that level of respect for each other," Ryan said. "He's told me since Day 1 that at 17 years old, he always thought I was a better pitcher than he. Coming from a 19-year big league veteran, that's a big deal for me. It's a big confidence booster when somebody tells you that." (Woo - mlb.com - 7/3/18)
Ryan posted a phenomenal senior year for Loretto High School in Tennessee. It's the same high school his father, David, attended and now coaches for. Ryan was Gatorade's National High School Player of the Year. Ryan went 11-0 his senior season, allowing just one run over 76 innings and struck out 148 en route to leading his high school to the state title. He pitched nine shutout innings that game, but the storybook ending would fall just short, as Loretto would lose in 12 innings.
"That state championship, he's so much better at it than I am," David said with a laugh. "The other day in the car I said, 'Ryan, I think about that state championship every day.' He goes, 'Dad, let it go.'"
However, David made sure there was still a defining moment for the end of an era when he surprised his son at school with the Gatorade trophy.
"Since I've been 3 years old, I've wanted to do what my dad was doing," Ryan said. "To finally be able to start that and get going is a big deal for him and me. When he gave me that Gatorade trophy, that was a big deal for both of us, because finally all the fruits of us—all the time we put in—finally started to show out."
Now David and Ryan's story will turn to a new chapter, but David is ready for Ryan to shine on his own. For Ryan, it's bittersweet. "It's been a lot of fun," he said. "It kind of sucks that our ride is over with his being my coach, but he's handing me over to some good coaches here in San Diego, and I look forward to getting started."
Ryan will report to San Diego's team complex in Peoria, AZ, to start his own career in professional baseball. His biggest goal? To pitch in the World Series, just like his dad. (Woo - mlb.com - 7/3/18)
In an Instagram post on June 17, 2018, Ryan posted: "Happy Father’s Day to the dad that has taught me how to love the game of baseball and to the dad that has taught me how to become a better man. Thank you dad for everything. I love you Pops."
June 2018: The Padres chose Weathers with their #1 pick (#7 overall), out of high school.
July 1, 2018: According to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Weathers' signing bonus is worth $5,226,500. He signed with scout Tyler Stubblefield.
In 2019, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Weathers as the 13th-best prospect in the Padres' organization. He moved up to #10 in the winter before 2020 spring training. And he moved up to #6 in the spring of 2021.
Ryan is going to have to stay on top of his weight.
2020 Season: Weathers arrived at summer camp throwing 4-5 mph harder and impressed all summer at the alternate training site. The Padres put him on their National League Division Series roster despite the fact he had never pitched above low Class A, and he became the second pitcher ever to make his big league debut in the postseason.
April 3, 2021: In his regular season debut, Ryan earned a three-inning save to help the Padres complete a three-game sweep of the D-backs. Weathers struck out three and allowed a single in the ninth before inducing Tim Locastro into a game-ending double play.
May 16, 2021: Ryan laced a single up the middle for his first career hit in the bottom of the third inning against St. Louis.
It was Ryan's first at-bat in Miami in July 2021 that made history and gave him some bragging rights.
Being the son of a former big league pitcher, Weathers is constantly compared to his father, David. From their demeanor on the mound to their attitude in the batter’s box, these two really are like father, like son. Though Ryan doesn’t mind the comparisons, he likes having bragging rights over his dad, and he got some more of those in Miami. Ryan smacked his first career home run in the third inning, a 421-foot blast that marked the longest by a Padres pitcher in the Statcast era (since 2015).
“I hit it, and I didn't feel it in my hands,” said Weathers. “I was like, ‘OK, I caught it that good.’ I saw [Starling] Marte’s numbers [on the back of his jersey], and I was like, ‘OK, that's for sure over his head, so I'm gonna double.’ Then, I just saw him stop, and I'm like, ‘There's no way that just went out.’”
Weathers' home run came in just his 20th plate appearance, while it took his father four seasons (98 plate appearances) to smack his first dinger. Coincidentally, Ryan's blast came off the team with which David hit his first homer: the Marlins. “That’s the topic of the house: hitting,” joked the elder Weathers. “He’s always flapping those gums. He has pop, so now he validated a little bit.”
After rounding the bases, the younger Weathers put the swag chain around his neck, spun it and relished in a little home run glory. One thing he isn’t ready to do is “flap his gums” to his dad, he jokes. At least, not yet. “He's still got me by one,” Weathers said with a laugh. “Whenever I get one more, then I'll trash talk a little more.”
Until then, the two can enjoy the fact that, thanks to Ryan’s home run, they have made history. According to Elias Sports Bureau, of the more than 60 father-son duos that have appeared as a pitcher in an MLB game, only five have both homered: Jim Bagby Sr. and Jr., Thornton and Don Lee, Mel and Todd Stottlemyre, Clyde and Jaret Wright, and now . . . David and Ryan Weathers. (McCann - mlb.com - 7/25/2021)
|Birth City:||Loretto, TN|
|Draft:||Padres #1 - 2018 - Out of high school (TN)|
Weathers has a 92-97 mph 4-seam FASTBALL, along with an 89-93 mph 2-seam SINKER—getting a 60 grade and pounding the strike zone. He has a sharp break 81-82 mph SLIDER that gets a 55 grade. He also has an impressive 82-83 mph CHANGEUP with fade that also gets an above-average 55 grade.
Ryan shows the polish often seen in big league progeny. He shows an advanced feel for sequencing, is rarely fazed by pressure situations and calmly locates his entire arsenal to both sides of the plate. Weathers has a portly, heavyset frame, but he’s deceptively athletic and repeats his delivery for plus control; it's a 60 grade.
Weathers lacks a true out-pitch, but he has four solid offerings and mixes them well. His fastball is pinpoint with his command of the pitch. It plays above its velocity, too, with a high spin rate that gives it deceptive riding life. Weathers’ changeup is his top secondary weapon, and he should see progress with his spin pitches, too. His curveball usually features good depth, and his (relatively new) slider has shown promise.
Weathers has a sound delivery, and he repeats it well, throwing strikes with ease. Evaluators believe he might grow into some of the best fastball command in the organization. Ultimately, the Padres don’t seem too concerned with Weathers’ second-half struggles, chalking them up to attrition from his first full year in pro ball. But 2020 is an important year for Weathers, nonetheless. (Spring 2020)
Ryan displays impressive poise and an advanced feel for pitching and for mixing pitches. He works quickly.
2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 70% of the time and Slider 30% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 95.7 mph and Slider 87.8 mph.
Ryan repeats his lefthanded delivery easily and pounds the strike zone, displaying solid 60 grade command.
Weathers can get scattered at times and struggles to locate consistently.
With his bulldog reputation of attacking the zone, Weathers hasn’t come off-track, despite some consistency struggles in 2019, caused by a dead arm issue.
Weathers posted absurd numbers in his senior season at Loretto High School. He allowed one run in 76 innings while striking out 148. He pitched nine scoreless frames in the Tennessee state title game (only for Loretto to lose in 12 innings). He finished the season 11-0 and was named the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year.
Weathers, out of Loretto High School in Tennessee, pairs his low-90s fastball with two strong off-speed offerings—a changeup and a curve. He is the son of former big league reliever David Weathers. (Cassavell - mlb.com - 7/1/18)
MLB debut (Oct 8, 2020): OK, so it was only 1 1/3 innings, and he did walk two guys. But this is a 20-year-old kid, just two years removed from getting selected seventh overall out of high school. He made his Major League debut in the third inning of a scoreless tie against a Dodgers team that had a .717 winning percentage and the highest run-scoring average in MLB. Weathers threw a strike for his first pitch and looked remarkably comfortable on the big league mound in holding the Dodgers scoreless in his Game 1 outing.
Weathers is one of three players to make his debut in this very strange postseason, joining Rays lefty Shane McClanahan and Twins outfielder Alex Kirilloff.
- 2022 Season: Remember him? The Padres only called on Weathers once in the 2022 season, as he spent the whole year in the PCL. In El Paso, the former first-round pick took a pounding earning a 6.73 ERA in 123 innings pitched. Hardly anyone enjoys success at the PCL Level, so his numbers must be taken with a grain of salt. At one point during the 2021 season, Weathers looked like a reliable future starter. He injured his foot/ankle towards the end of the year and never looked the same. If given an opportunity, you get a sense Weathers is due for a breakout of sorts. (James Clark - Nov. 5, 2022)
May 2019: Weathers was on the DL with a dead arm.
April 28, 2021: After Weathers left the mound to end the first inning, he had a conversation with Tingler and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Weathers told them he had experienced some soreness that Tingler later likened to “fatigue” and “dead arm.” That was enough for Tingler, who informed Weathers that his night was done.
Weathers, whose fastball typically sits in the mid-90s, threw two pitches to start the game clocked in the high 80s. That prompted a quick visit from manager Jayce Tingler and a team trainer.
- July 13-24, 2021: Ryan was on the IL with right ankle fracture.