In our second-to-last Valley League alumnus update on prospect status, we have the former West Virginia Mountineer and Haymarket Senator (2011-12) Ryan McBroom!
Ryan was a 15th round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, and signed for a pittance as a college senior- $1,000! (Compare this to, say, Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), who received a $2,000,000 signing bonus in 2008.)
Ryan had a very strong pro debut in the Northwest League’s Vancouver franchise in 2014, hitting 297/339/502 in 70 games and 273 at-bats. Then, assigned to the full season Midwest League in 2015, Ryan took off, hitting 315/387/482 in 127 games and 461 at-bats. (He was named ATVL’s Full-Season A-Ball Hitter of the Year, by the way.)
So, even with a s little fanfare as he received coming out of college, now Ryan is garnering some attention for his performance in the minor leagues. He was named in both mlb.com and Fangraphs.
So let’s take a look:
Mlb.com lists Ryan as the 27th best prospect in the Blue Jay system:
McBroom’s profile has risen substantially since he signed for $1,000 as a college senior out of West Virginia in the 15th round of the 2014 Draft. He led the Class A Short Season Northwest League with 11 homers in his pro debut and encored by winning MVP honors in the Class A Midwest League in his first full season.
At 23, McBroom was old for the Midwest League, so he’ll have to prove that he can hit against more advanced opponents. But he has some encouraging tools, starting with power that he generates with his strength and a lofty right-handed swing. He’s an aggressive hitter with a knack for making hard contact, though he may need better discipline against better pitching.
McBroom’s value comes solely from his bat, and he’ll have to hit his way up the ladder. Though he has seen some time in left field in pro ball, his bottom-of-the-scale speed makes playing him there a stretch. He does have soft hands and can become an average defender at first base.
And Fangraphs named Ryan as a “quick hit” in their Blue Jays column:
1B Ryan McBroom has a chance to make his way onto this list with his bat, showing potential to hit for power and average. Neither tool may be big enough to make up for being a first baseman with absolutely no speed, and his advanced age relative to the competition he has beat up is cause for caution.
Sure, he’ll have to prove his worth at every stop, but that’s not terribly unusual anyway. Look at what Tyler White just did in the Houston system!
Ryan has been assigned a level higher than 2015- at High-A Dunedin, in the Florida State League. He’s off to a bit of a slow start, as he’s hitting 224/293/373, but in only 67 at-bats (through Saturday). Hopefully he can prove his worth at this level, too!