Ryan Weathers has grown up on a baseball field. His father, David, pitched 19 years in the major leagues, winning the 1996 World Series with the New York Yankees, and has impacted his son’s career.
“My dad is there for me no matter what,” Ryan said. “Ever since I was able to understand baseball, I was at the field with him during spring training and the regular season. He taught me.
“Instead of staying in the children’s room, I’d go out with him and watch the players. He helped me learn the basics of everything. He has helped me not only become a good player, but a better person.”
The Toronto Blue Jays selected David in the third round of the 1988 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but Ryan will likely go higher in the upcoming draft. MLB.com ranks the prep left-hander as the 15th-best prospect in the 2018 draft class.
Although Weathers hopes the draft works out, he also has the option to attend Vanderbilt as a student-athlete starting next fall.
“If you instantly think you’re going (pro), God has a way of humbling people,” he said. “It could be taken away from you at any second. I just keep working and maxing my God-given talent he’s given me and just keep going.”
A 6-foot-2, 210-pound lefty, Weathers has a smooth delivery and throws strikes with ease, while possessing top-of-the-rotation potential. He has a four-pitch mix, featuring a fastball, changeup, sinker and curveball. He mixes in a four-seam and two-seam fastball with both topping out in the mid-90s.
Weathers has an advanced changeup, while his curveball is an improving offering.
“I’ve only thrown a curveball for about a year-and-a-half because dad didn’t want me throwing one until I was 16 so my arm would develop,” he said. “I predominately threw my fastball and changeup my whole life. He just made sure I was comfortable with moving my fastball in and out, up and down and just changing eye levels.”
Weathers hasn’t picked up a baseball since his two scoreless outings for Team USA when they won the 18-and-under World Cup in September.
Instead, he’s working on getting stronger in the weight room. The Tennessee native expects to start throwing soon after New Year’s in preparation for his final high school season, which begins in March.
“I’m working on my lower body and getting stronger in my legs,” he said. “I’m not trying to gain any velocity. Instead, I’m just try to perfect everything I’m doing. I just keep working on improving me pitches.”
Find more 2018 MLB Draft profiles here.