The Tampa Bay Rays selected right-handed pitcher Ryne Stanek with the 29th overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Stanek chose to take the mound for the Arkansas Razorbacks opposed to signing a contract with the Seattle Mariners when the organization drafted him in 2010. The moved paid off, as he is one of the top collegiate pitching arms in the 2013 draft class.
There is some concern among MLB scouts regarding the fact that Stanek clearly lost a step in between his sophomore and junior seasons at Arkansas. His velocity was not the same, which deflated his overall impact on the mound. Regardless, he still has great stuff that will certainly take him places in the Tampa Bay organization.
The 6’4”, 190-pound pitcher features an outstanding fastball that sits in the mid-90s. Obviously, the velocity continues to be rather inconsistent, but the fact that he has reached the upper-90s certainly has to give the Rays plenty of confidence. The major problem with the fastball is that Stanek has relied too much on the velocity instead of focusing on command. Velocity alone is enough to be successful in college, but the pitch must improve if he wants to be effective at the next level.
Stanek uses his slider more than his curveball, but the latter is a pitch that he must focus on more. His mid-80s slider is decent, but it does not rack up the strikeouts, as one would expect. Meanwhile, his curveball has plenty of potential. In fact, it could be the pitch that fast tracks him to the big leagues if used properly.
The Rays would like to see Stanek make it to the majors as a starting pitcher. However, his motivation and work ethic will certainly play a huge role in that. The good news is he has the ability to perform at a high level.