- Full name Ryan Christopher Webb
- Born 02/05/1986 in Clearwater, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'6" / Wt.: 245 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Clearwater Central Catholic
- Debut 07/08/2009
- Drafted in the 4th round (127th overall) by the Oakland Athletics in 2004 (signed for $250,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
Joining the Padres in the Scott Hairston trade with the Athletics that also netted Craig Italiano and Sean Gallagher, Webb provided San Diego with instant value, showing two plus pitches while making 28 big league appearances. Former Padres GM Kevin Towers made an art form in putting together effective, low-cost bullpens, and the club's September crew featured a host of promising recent acquisitions: Gallagher and Webb, Aaron Poreda and Adam Russell (Jake Peavy trade with the White Sox), Luke Gregerson (Khalil Greene trade with the Cardinals), Luis Perdomo (waiver claim from the Giants) and Edward Mujica (purchased from the Indians). Even rookies Greg Burke (signed out of independent leagues) and Ernesto Frieri (signed out of Colombia) sprang from modest beginnings. Much like Italiano, Webb featured undeniable arm strength while in the Oakland system but didn't thrive until San Diego moved him to the bullpen. His fastball sat at 94-96 mph in September, and he also showed off a nasty mid-80s curveball that he can locate for strikes. Webb is working to refine his high-80s cutter to bust in on the hands of lefthanders, who tagged him for an .889 OPS and all three of the homers he allowed in his big league debut. He's a strong candidate to open 2010 back in the Padres' bullpen.
Despite two mediocre seasons, the A's consider Webb in the same group as the trio of high school pitchers they selected high in the 2005 draft and just a shade behind 2006 top pick Trevor Cahill. The A's are modifying their development program for high school pitchers like Webb and realize they have to handle them differently from the college pitchers they're used to drafting. Webb has adjustments to make as he fills out his generous 6-foot-6 frame. He's a sinker/slider pitcher who has good sinking life to his fastball. While his velocity and the quality of his stuff still fluctuates, at times both pitches are above-average, with his 89- 91 mph fastball touching 93 and his slider showing occasional two-plane break. He made more progress with his changeup in 2006 than he had previously. He's much too hittable at this stage, though, for the A's to count on him as a big league starter. While he doesn't give up too many walks, Webb falls behind too often and gets torched in those situations. He'll go back to high Class A to see if he can miss more bats.
The son of former major league pitcher Hank Webb, Ryan became a story when Oakland took him in the fourth round last June. He became just the second high schooler the A's have taken in the first five rounds this decade, joining 2001 first-rounder Jeremy Bonderman. In another departure from most Oakland draft picks, Webb is all about projection. His fastball is in the 86-88 mph range but could increase considerably as he adds bulk to his long, skinny frame. For a teenager who is all arms and legs, he has a consistent release point and an uncanny knack for throwing strikes, as evidenced by just one walk in his pro debut. He shows a good feel for a changeup but still is trying to find a breaking ball he can trust. His slider is flat and slurvy. Webb isn't especially athletic, so he struggles to hold runners and field his position. The A's have no real roadmap for projectable teenage pitchers, so they'll take it slow with him. His performance in spring training will determine whether he begins the year at Kane County or Vancouver.