Shorebird of the Week – May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010 · Posted in Delmarva items, Delmarva Shorebirds, Sports 

Ryan Berry checks out his new baseball home before an exhibition game on April 6. Photo by Kim Corkran.

Ryan Berry warms up before his April 18 start against Hagerstown. It turned out to be a rough beginning as he allowed 4 runs in the opening frame but Ryan settled down to pitch 6 innings in an extra-inning 9-7 loss.

The first thing you notice is the glasses. Not a lot of ballplayers wear them and his look like they’re straight from the 1980’s. But if you’re not comfortable in contact lenses glasses are the best alternative and Ryan Berry seems like he’s found a comfort zone here in Delmarva.

Including last night’s masterful 7-inning performance, in Ryan’s last 26 innings he’s allowed but one run (April 29 at Asheville.) It’s not being reflected in his won-lost record because the Shorebirds have scored just 3 runs in those starts. Overall Berry is 0-1 with a sparkling 2.23 ERA in 36 1/3 innings. More importantly, Berry has found his punchout pitch as he’s fanned 36 while walking just 7 in his 6 starts. Combined with allowing only 33 hits, his WHIP is an impressive 1.10.

Delmarva marks Berry’s professional debut, as the 21-year-old Texan from Rice University didn’t pitch professionally in 2009. He was picked in the 11th round in the draft but the Orioles chose not to assign him to a minor league affiliate, probably because Berry missed part of the college season with a strained rotator cuff. This may affect whether Berry pitches a full season here or is shut down after a particular number of innings later this summer as occasionally happens with prized young prospects.

It’s telling, though, that Berry was tabbed as Delmarva’s #1 starter ahead of other prized prospects like first-round pick Matt Hobgood. Certainly Ryan is holding up his reputation so far and shutting down SAL batters in the process.

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