January 16, 2017
Infielder Ryan Metzler has made a name for himself in the Blue Jays system for his solid defensive play.
Metzler, who plays second base, shortstop, and third base respectably; constantly makes difficult plays look routine.
Splitting his time between high-A Dunedin and low-A Lansing last season; Metzler had plenty of opportunities to showcase his talents in the field on a nightly basis.
Logging the majority of his time at shortstop, Metzler assisted on 125 plays and took part in 22 double plays in 348 innings.
Recording an additional 96 1/3 innings at his natural position, Metzler maintained a solid .963 fielding percentage at second.
His defensive talents didn’t end there though, as Metzler logged 60 2/3 innings at third base where he maintained a respectable .958 fielding percentage at the challenging position.
Especially proud of his numbers at third, Metzler admits that finding consistency at the hot corner didn’t come over night.
“In the beginning it was tough, it was really tough. I neverr really played third before except for a couple innings in summer ball,” explained Metzler. “The first year after the switch was rough, but in the off-season I worked hard on my jumps and reads at the position. The following season I came into spring training and everything felt better at third.”
The goal for Metzler in 2017 is to find more consistency in the batter’s box.
While his .164/.260/.246 slash line last season wasn’t completely ideal; the prospect feels his plate approach has gotten a lot better during his time in professional baseball.
“My plate approach has come a long ways in pro ball,” said Metzler. “My first year I wasn’t too aggressive, I was just trying to figure things out. My second year was about getting into attack mode and being aggressive every at-bat.”
Bouncing in-and-out of the lineup may have contributed a bit to the lower numbers, that also factored with adjusting to better pitching can be tough on a young hitter.
But the adversity he dealt with at the plate won’t go in vain as Metzler has a better idea of what to expect from low-A and high-A pitching moving forward.
“There’s not much of a difference between the pitchers in low-A and high-A,” stated Metzler. “I’d say the pitchers in high-A are a little bit better with their location, but other than that the levels are similar.”
Expect to see Metzler return to either Lansing, or Dunedin in 2017.
But no matter the destination, fans hope to see Ryan Metzler turn a corner at the plate.