On Sunday the Seattle Mariners promoted right-handed pitcher Ryne Harper to the major league roster. At age 28 he is older than the typical prospect and has not received much in the way of media attention, but he has a very good performance record and a chance to help the major league club. Let’s take a quick look.
Harper pitched college baseball at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. A reliever his senior year, he posted a 4.62 ERA in 49 innings but with an attractive 59/15 K/BB ratio, earning a spot in the 37th round of the 2011 draft where he was selected by the Atlanta Braves.
He spent the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons in Double-A and pitched very well every year, with notably high strikeout rates. The Braves didn’t seem to have room for him however and he was eventually traded to the Mariners in December ‘15. He pitched well once again in 2016 (2.51, 95/25 K/BB in 68 innings in Double-A).
Finally given a shot in Triple-A in 2017, he’s continued mowing down minor league hitters, posting a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings with a 24/9 K/BB. And now he’s in the majors.
Harper is listed at 6-3, 215, a right-handed hitter and thrower, born March 27, 1989. The most detailed report I have on him comes from Kate Preusser at Lookout Landing, who notes a low-90s fastball and three varieties of breaking ball, plus a deceptive delivery.
Despite his relative lack of press, Harper’s performance record is excellent and the fact that he’s continued to thrive in Triple-A is a good sign. He could end up being a nice find for the Mariners pen.