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CBB Top 50 Countdown: Number 18 Ryan Berry (Rice)

The CBB continues our countdown to the 2009 College Baseball season with our Top 50 players to watch. We will be providing one player each day (Monday-Saturday) until we reach number 1. We continue our list with junior right handed pitcher Ryan Berry of Rice.

The Humble Texas native broke through on the national stage as a freshman as he was one of the best pitchers in the entire nation in 2007. He ended up the season with an 11-3 record with an ERA of 3.01. He ended up averaging 9.2 strikeouts/per 9 innings and 2.5 walks/per 9 innings. He picked up several national awards with Collegiate Baseball naming him their Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He was also named an All-American by ABCA (Second Team) and Collegiate Baseball (Third Team). Conference USA named him the 2007 Freshman of the Year and put him on the All-Conference USA First team.

He spent the summer of 2007 with the USA Collegiate National Team which took part in the Pan-American Games and the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands. Berry ended up making seven appearances with a 2-1 record with an ERA of 1.88. He ended up holding opponents to a .202 average. He had an outstanding appearance against the Japanese National team in which he held them scoreless for 7.2 innings allowing just three hits and walking none.

Berry’s sophomore campaign in 2008 was solid but wasn’t as strong as his freshman season. He ended up going 8-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 17 appearances (16 starts). He ended up striking out 86 batters in his 104 innings of work. He held his opponents to a .259 average.

Coach Wayne Graham says “We’re counting on Ryan to be one of the best pitchers in the country. He’s an outstanding three-pitch pitcher with control.”

We think that Berry will return to his freshman form and return to being the top pitcher in Conference USA and potentially one of the top pitchers in the country.

You can check out our full Top 50 by clicking here.

  • waltgreenberg

    Brian, somewhat surprised you had Ryan ranked quite so high. (I probably would have placed him in the mid-20s.) BTW, it is widely believed that the cause for his dropping off somewhat his Sophomore year was because of the extended number of innings he logged for Rice (through two CWS appearances) and TeamUSA in ’07, topping 150 IP, I believe. Based on his taking this past Summer off, and not extending himself during Fall Practice (when he was virtually lights out), we fully expect him to come back strong and compete for National Pitcher of the Year honors (albeit well behind Alex White). What should be a vastly improved infield defense will not hurt either!

  • While I agree that Berry could take a huge step up this year, I’m not quite ready to put him in my top 30 I don’t think. It could be close.

    And just for the record, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished the year as a top 10 pitcher, but until he shows more of that amazing “stuff”, I have to go off of last year.

  • waltgreenberg

    Aman, be careful as you want to be consistent. If you’re going to hold Berry back because of his solid but not exceptional Sophomore season, are you going to do the same with Minor? In fact, because of the additional TeamUSA innings logged by Minor this past Summer (similar to what Berry did the previous year), I could argue that Minor could feel the adverse effects this coming season. Only time will tell. And, again, I would personally place Berry in the low-to-mid 20s amongst top returning players.

    My biggest issue and curiosity at this point is the omission of Rick Hague, who IMO admittedly biased opinion ranks amongst the top 5 returning middle infielders in college baseball. How in the world can you have Joey Wong in a Top 50 listing and not Rick Hague?

  • I am not as high on Minor as some, but he definitely will begin this season ranked higher than Berry. What Minor did this summer was very impressive indeed. Minor also looks to be more of a dominant pitcher with better stuff at this point. Im not saying Berry cant close the gap on Minor, im just saying, he hasnt at this point. Berry had 80 K’s in 104 innings with 31 walks last year. Minor had 101 K’s in 103 innings with only 28 walks. If you add to that what he did this summer with 37 K’s in 33 innings while being almost unhittable, then yes, i am being consistent by saying Minor will be ranked quite a bit above Berry to begin this season. Not to mention that Minor has 3 inches of height on Berry and 15 pounds of weight, so he also projects much better to the next level which is a large part of what im looking at with my personal rankings. And Minor has also added a slider and possibly a curve to his repertoire this summer. If he has 4 pitches? WOW.

    I will anxiously be awaiting their velocity reports this spring.
    I am rooting for Berry to bounce back however, and i would bet good money that he will. I could easily see Berry as a top 10 college pitcher by mid-season.
    Right now i would have to put Minor in my top 15ish and Berry in my top 35ish.

  • waltgreenberg

    Aman, I hear you and don’t disagree with your comments. All I was trying to say is that Berry was just about as effective as Minor was for TeamUSA the previous Summer, and many of us feel that it was those extra innings that caused Berry’s reduced numbers last season.

  • how many innings did Berry pitch that summer?

    I know Minor pitched 33 for team USA this summer.
    That doesnt seem like that many to me.
    And that height/weight advantage Minor has may prove to help him out more.
    Maybe Berry was a bit too skinny to log the extra innings and be able to hold his arm and leg strength last year?

  • Berry pitched 38.1 innings for Team USA in 2007.

  • waltgreenberg

    And that’s 38.1 innings ontop of the 125 – 130 he pitched during the 2007 regular season (including the C-USA tourney, regionals, super-regionals and two starts in Omaha). My guess is that Minor had 3 – 4 fewer starts for Vandy this past season than Berry had for Rice in ’07.

    Still, while 33 IP over the Summer might not appear to be that much, once added to Minor’s college season totals I presume he totaled 140+ innings, which is probably more than he’s ever pitched in a season previously.

  • I still think Minors body will be able to withstand the extra workload a lot better than Berry’s did.
    But we can only wait and see how it plays out.

  • How was I not a part of this conversation before? FWIW Walt, Corbin shut down Mikie after the Summer and he didn’t really throw in the Fall. And Mikie’s performance this summer was nothing short of amazing, despite being relatively mediocre in the late innings as a Sophomore. I expect big things. Especially after the amazing performance carrying a no-hitter into the 10th for Team USA at the World Games.

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