In the first part of our interview with Ryder Green we discussed his path to becoming a highly regarded draft prospect, why he committed to Vanderbilt University before being drafted by the Yankees and his successful 2019 season with the Rookie Advanced Pulaski Yankees. You can read that here. Below he discusses adjusting to professional baseball, the aspects of his game that he is focusing on improving, and watching this years playoffs.
Dan Kelly – What would you say was your biggest adjustment after switching to professional ball from the amateur side?
Ryder Green – The mental part of it for me in my first year. In high school and even playing summer ball you get a lot of days off, so it’s easier to flush something when you are getting two days off in between a game. When you go 0-for-4, then wake up the next day and go 0-for-4, and then you go 0-for-4 three straight days, then you are like OK, I’ve got to make an adjustment... in reality you just had a few bad days, it happens... The learning adjustment at least for me was how do I just flush what happened immediately and try to move on. Honestly you have to trust what your coaches are telling you and how you feel so that you don’t make needless adjustments.
DK – That’s a great point about the 0-for-4, what are some of the metrics behind the scenes that even if you’re not getting hits you are still getting an “atta boy” or the coaches are saying “hey that was good, keep doing that it will play out in the long run?”
RG – It’s really just how hard you hit the ball obviously, at a certain launch angle and your attack angle. There’s a lot of stuff within the swing. Obviously you know that if you hit one on the screws right at some guy you know you’re doing something right. Inside the swing there’s a lot of stuff... our hitting department is phenomenal, with Dillion Lawson at the head and some other guys and their numbers. You can roll over a ball and it’d be OK, just because if you are working on a swing. What they always tell us is that it’s better to work through it to fix it, than to put a band aid on it and have to really overhaul it later on. There are a lot of things within the swing but I just say exit velocity and launch angle are two things that you look at to still get an “atta boy” or a hey it’s still going good don’t worry about it.
DK – You’ve played all three outfield positions so far in your career, is there one you prefer that you think you’re going to be at long term?
RG – I think that honestly I can play all three and it doesn’t bother me to play all three. Wherever I can play to stay in the lineup, really I couldn’t care less. If it is at center field, I would love to stay in center field, if its right, I’ll play right, if its left, it doesn’t bother me as long as I get a chance to swing it.
DK – In the last season you picked up your stolen bases, is that a conscious effort on your part to try and develop within your game or just something where the opportunity presented itself?
RG – I think its definitely something I’m trying to develop... Stealing bases isn’t straight speed it’s craftiness too, you’ve got to know when to run when the situation calls for it. I think it is something that I can implement more into my game. It’s producing runs and I think that gets lost a lot and stealing bases helps produce runs for a team and that’s huge. So if I can put myself in scoring position more times with stealing bases then that is something that I need to do for a team and for an organization that is ultimately trying to win a World Series. I think that is one way you can be productive so yeah I’d say I wouldn’t say a conscious effort because I don’t want to force anything but definitely something I would like to continue to grow.
DK – I actually had one question I kind of skipped over; we were talking about you growing up in the Knoxville area, what was your favorite team growing up and who were the guys you followed the closest?
RG – I was a big… I loved Chipper Jones, Chipper was the man. I think if you are anywhere from this area then Chipper is the answer. So now to be honest I hardly watch anything if it’s not the Yankees, just because I don’t think there’s a better organization, I really do enjoy watching the Yankees play now.
DK – How closely were you watching the playoffs? Were you locked in with your fan hat on? How does someone in the organization watch that?
RG – It’s tough with your buddies, I have some buddies who are Rays fans, so that’s tough, of all teams, they want to be Rays fans. So it was fun to just bicker back and forth with them. I mean the Yankees have a good team, so its just a matter of time before they win I think. With some of the pitchers they have coming up like Nick Nelson, Clarke Schmidt, Deivi you know that teams going to win.
DK – Yeah we hope so, and in a few years you might be part of it. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk.