Ryan grew up a Rays fan and kept some 2008 World Series gear in his bedroom of his Lakeland home, which he found after he was acquired in a four-player trade from the Mariners…he would often watch games in his bedroom, and his dad followed along as he worked in the garage…the two would sometimes meet in the middle of the house after the game's most pivotal moments... Ryan's high school baseball coach encouraged him to find professionals to look up to…he admired David Price, James Shields and Scott Kazmir and still has a Kazmir jersey he received as a 15-year-old hanging in his closet... As a sophomore at Santa Fe (Fla.) College, he was teammates with freshman outfielder Mallex Smith…they were traded together to the Rays as part of a package for Drew Smyly... Ryan attended the MLB Rookie Career Development Program in Washington D.C. in January along with Jake Bauers and Justin Williams…the four-day orientation program included media training, time management and financial planning.
Spent his first season in the Rays organization with Triple-A Durham after being acquired from the Mariners in a trade involving Drew Smyly… his 13 wins, 26 starts, 157.1 IP and 159 SO were all career highs... Ranked 2nd among Rays minor leaguers in strikeouts, behind Brent Honeywell (172)…tied for 2nd in wins, one shy of José Mujica (14)… ranked 3rd in innings and 8th with a 3.43 ERA... Increased his strikeout total from 99 SO (6.94 SO/9 IP) with Double-A Jackson in 2016 to 159 SO (9.10 SO/9 IP) with the Bulls…according to FanGraphs, generated swings-and-misses on 14.0 pct. of his pitches, 2nd-highest in the International League behind teammate Brent Honeywell (14.3)... Led the IL in strikeouts, the second consecutive year and fifth time in seven seasons a Bulls pitcher was the league leader…tied for the IL lead in starts, ranked 2nd in wins, 3rd in innings, 4th in S0/9 IP, 5th in BB/9 IP and 8th in ERA... Limited left-handed hitters to a .217/.278/.343 (43-for-198) line with 3 HR…righties hit .256 (101-for-394) against him with 17 HR... Won both of his IL postseason starts…was the Game 1 starter in the IL Semifinals vs. Indianapolis (Pirates) and the Governors' Cup vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barres (Yankees)…was 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA (13-IP, 2-ER)... Started the Triple-A National Championship Game against Memphis (Cardinals)…yielded 2 runs in 1.1 IP but got no-decision as the Bulls came back to win, 5-3... Twice was named IL Pitcher of the Week… received the honor for the periods of June 19-25 and July 31-Aug 6... Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com... Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 26 prospect in the Rays system following the season.
Named the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher after spending the entire sea-son with Double-A Jackson…his 2.95 ERA ranked 2nd to Chih-Wei Hu (2.59) and his 12 wins tied for the league lead with two others including Taylor Guerrieri…also ranked among league leaders in WHIP (1.11, 2nd), opp avg. (.232, 3rd) and winning pct. (.750, 1st)…named to the SL midseason and postseason All-Star teams…held left-handed hit-ters to a .183 avg. (24-for-131)…had a 7-inning CG SHO on April 30 (G2) vs. Mobile (Diamondbacks)…went 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA (30-IP, 6-ER) in May…was SL Pitcher of the Week for May 23-29 and Aug 1-7…named to the Mariners Organizational All-Star Team by MiLB.com.