Already selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year in Ohio in 2008
as well as drafted by the Kansas City Royals, Ryan Curl from Columbus
DeSales is the 2008 Huntington Bank/Ohio High Magazine Baseball Player
of the Year.
“It’s a great honor,” Curl (6-2, 190) said. “Everyone pays attention
to JJ Huddle and Ohio High Magazine and it’s a great honor just to be
mentioned in the magazine.”
Already selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year in Ohio in 2008 as well as drafted by the Kansas City Royals, Ryan Curl from Columbus DeSales is the 2008 Huntington Bank/Ohio High Magazine Baseball Player of the Year.
“It’s a great honor,” Curl (6-2, 190) said. “Everyone pays attention to JJ Huddle and Ohio High Magazine and it’s a great honor just to be mentioned in the magazine.”
Curl’s outstanding senior campaign resulted in breaking or tying three of his high school’s single season records (hits, triples and stolen bases). In addition, he was the main catalyst behind DeSales school-record 18 consecutive wins. Now Curl is looking to the next level of competition at Miami (Ohio) University where the speedster accepted a scholarship offer in January.
“It feels good to know that I’m going somewhere at the next level,” Curl said. “I haven’t had to worry about that this season and that’s taken a whole bunch of pressure off my shoulders.”
After being drafted in by the Royals in the 31st round of baseball’s amateur draft, Curl knows that he has the opportunity to show the Kansas City franchise that he is a special talent this summer. Curl is a rare “five tool” player that scouts look for at sandlots across America. The funny thing is that the laid back Curl did not even know he was drafted.
“Actually, I was on my way to a baseball game when I found out,” said Curl, who hit .445 this spring. “I was riding with another player on my team and my dad kept trying to call me and couldn’t get through. So he called the phone of the friend I was riding with and I found out that way. I’m not really focusing on that right now. I’m trying not to think about it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m leaning towards college.
“We haven’t finalized anything yet. The Royals are going to follow me through the summer and see how I’m doing. We might talk about that (a contract) later in the summer, but I’m not sure. It means a lot to me that the Royals thought enough of me to select me in the draft.”
It will definitely be a busy summer for Curl, who will be playing all over the U.S. He heads for Cary, N.C., next for the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars where he’ll be joined by 144 of the nation’s best 17 and 18 year old players. Afterwards, he will be in Arizona for another baseball tournament.
DeSales coach Tom Nuebert says that Curl is an amazing talent that has been a joy to have on the team. He readily talks about the five tools his player brought to the field.
“Ryan is obviously the player that has all five tools that colleges are looking for,” Nuebert said. “He has the speed, has the arm. He can hit for average. He can hit for power. And he has a tremendous glove in the outfield for us.”
Maybe the most impressive tool in Curl’s toolbox is his speed. Neubert talked about Curl’s ability on the base paths, which produced 43 steals this spring for the Stallions.
“I’ve never had a player of mine that has been able to take over the game offensively like Ryan can,” Neubert said. “He changes the complexity of the game whether he’s at the plate or on the bases. I’ve seen him hit a groundball to second base this year and beat it out for a hit. I him score from third on a ball that didn’t even leave the dirt on a passed ball. It obviously gives me a lot of options of things I can do when he’s on base. Not to mention that everyone we play knows who he is and that puts pressure on the defense when you have a kid with that kind of speed either at the base or on the base paths.”
Curl, who stole five bases in a game this season, has speed to burn on the base paths. He’s convinced that his legs will help get him where he wants to be, whether that is at college or in the pros.
“I’m just going to try to hit gap-to-gap and run the bases,” Curl said. “That’s my main focus this summer. I just want to hit the ball in the gaps and run the bases. Even if I hit a ground ball, I’m going to put pressure on the defense to try to make the throw. When I’m on the base paths, I’m going to help the batter in the box because the pitcher is going to worry about me. I’m going to try to get in his head as much as I can and try to help out that way.”
His coach agreed that Curl loves to help his teammates.
“He’s really embraced that concept,” Neubert said. “ He’s all about this team and trying to win right now.”
Clearly, Neubert sees a big future for Curl, if he continues to improve himself and hone his skills.
“Well, right now as far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit for Ryan,” Neubert said. “He obviously still has a lot more to work on when it comes to baseball. He’s not completely polished yet. When he gets to the next level, they’re going to work with him a lot more. The way I see him, he has the ability to be a tremendous Division I (college) player. (If he ends up in the Major Leagues) he’ll make a good run in the professional ranks as well. But he’s just having fun on the field right now and to be honest with you, it’s the furthest thing from his mind right now.”
Curl agreed: “Right now I’m just having fun.”