Michael Ryan display an exciting toolset

Michael Ryan has been on the radar of talent evaluators since he was an underclassman at Rummel High School in Louisiana.

Over his high school career, Ryan has refined his toolset and shown the potential college programs noticed during the recruiting process. After a strong performance on the showcase circuit last summer, including in the Under Armor All-American Game, Ryan enters his senior season as a must-watch player.

Ryan is a talented prep shortstop with outstanding defensive tools and an intriguing offensive ability. Scouts rave about Ryan’s upside and consider him a potential early-round pick in the 2024 MLB draft.

“It’s kind of crazy to think about,” Ryan said. “All the hard work is paying off, and I couldn’t ask for more. This is the opportunity I wanted to see in my future. Now that I am here, I’m just going to keep working as hard as I can to get to the level of where I want to be.”

Ryan is a 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed hitting shortstop known for his ability to make an impact in all aspects of the game.

Right now, Ryan’s calling card is his quality defense. He’s one of the top defensive shortstops in his class, possessing above-average arm strength who can make accurate throws from numerous arm slots. He plays under control and moves well laterally to cover plenty of ground and make all the necessary plays at shortstop.

Ryan is fundamentally sound and figures to remain at shortstop in the future.

“I feel like my defense is top tier,” Ryan said. “It’s at the top of my class, for sure. My defense is really good. I don’t think anyone fields as good as me to be honest.”

Offensively, Ryan uses a short, compact, effortless swing with quick hands to square up the baseball and drive it into the gaps. He displays above-average raw power and will provide plenty of pop for a middle infielder.

Throughout the offseason, Ryan refined his swing and approach at the plate, especially against breaking pitches, in preparation for his senior season.

Ryan also is a quality runner with notable speed. He can stretch a base hit into extra bases and steal bases. His speed also benefits him defensively.

“On the offensive side, I feel like I keep progressing and getting better,” Ryan said. “Just over these past couple of months, my swing has felt great. I’ve been generating a lot of power in my swing. Over the summer, I hit for a lot more power and average. I just want to keep working on my swing. It keeps getting better and better. The best is yet to come.”

Besides his status as a draft prospect, Ryan is an LSU commit. He verbally committed to the Tigers during his sophomore year in January 2022.

Ryan received interest from various Southeastern Conference programs. His relationship with the Tigers’ coaches and the staff’s track record of developing talent in preparation for pro ball factored into his decision.

“I just blew up overnight, I guess,” Ryan said. “I talked with Florida, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and a bunch of SEC schools. When LSU called me and told me they would be offering me, it was a no-doubter. I always wanted to go there, and I couldn’t ask for more.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Michael Ryan.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski IIIhttp://BaseballProspectJournal.com
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on The3rdManIn.com, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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  1. Might be a tough decision for him depending on when he gets drafted. Seems like his ceiling would be a top 5 overall pick if he develops more at LSU. Will be interesting to see!


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