Image: Courtesy University of Georgia Athletics

The Cleveland Indians selected Ryan Webb with the fourth-round pick (125th overall) in the 2021 MLB Draft.

Ryan Webb – Left-handed Starting Pitcher

School: Georgia;
Age: 22.2;
Height: 6’1; Weight: 202;
Bats: Left; Throws: Left

Rankings:

IBI – 63

MLB.com – 155

Prospects Live– 77

Baseball America– 180

Willie Hood’s Analysis:

A May elbow injury required Tommy John reconstructive surgery (TJS), derailing the left-hander’s draft season. Webb is a college reliever turned starting pitcher – a right of passage of sorts at big programs. The young left-hander had back-of-round-one rumors before the elbow injury ended his breakout season prematurely. Webb was a dominant reliever for the Bulldogs in 2020 and improved year over year. Before the injury sidelined him, Webb produced 82 strikeouts (12.37 K9) with 17 walks (2.56 BB9) over 59.2 innings pitched. Over his four-year collegiate career, the lefty never allowed more hits than innings and 2021 was no different, allowing just 43 hits and producing an impressive 1.01 WHIP. While the Georgia native mends his season-ending injury, he will likely spend the remainder of his recovery rehabbing in Arizona upon signing.

He displays an extended arm circle (long inverted straight elbow) delivering from a three-quarters arm slot on the bump. Despite the throwing motion, he displayed above-average control and has continued to improve each season. Webb shows a four-pitch repertoire which he mixes up well. His fastball sits in the low-90’s and has topped out at 95-96 mph when healthy. The soon-to-be-former ‘Dogs ace features a mid-upper 70’s curveball that can generate strikeouts. Showing both an improving slider and average changeup in the mid-80’s Webb has the arsenal to develop into a starting pitcher, but could carve a quick path as a backend bullpen arm if that is deemed the appropriate route in the future in his recovery from TJS.

Justin Lada’s Take:

This seems like a good value pick for Cleveland. Webb had some late first round and second round grades if healthy. The four pitch mix gives him a solid starters arsenal and at least average control. They must feel comfortable with the medicals on him to grab him here and see his tommy john recovery process through. He only had it in May, so he won’t likely be in action until this time next season. There were some reports from scouts about concerns of durability before the elbow injury, as he’s not a big framed kid. But his arsenal and improved control suggest he may be able to contribute in the back half of the rotation with solid stuff across the board. Some of the pitches play up because he’s a data darling (pitch metrics suggest the changeup and breaking balls play well due to spin efficiency and shape) and that could separate him as a starter, especially lacking a big fastball and frame. If starting doesn’t work out for Webb, he’s got two breaking balls that are above average to potentially plus, and with a fastball that could tick up in the pen, you can see him as a seventh inning or set up arm. If he recovers all well from elbow surgery, Webb is a guy that’s a solid bet to impact a major league pitching staff in some type of helpful role and again, Cleveland probably really likes the value here as he was taking leaps as a starter this year before getting hurt and probably doesn’t fall this far if he’s healthy.

Press Release:

Round 4 (#125 overall)

LHP RYAN WEBB

Georgia Bulldog lefty posted a 3.32 ERA in 11 starts this spring (59.2IP, 43H, 22ER, 17BB, 82SO) before undergoing reconstructive surgery on his left elbow in May. He concluded his UGA career with a 3.55 ERA in 54 games/18 starts (60ER/152.0IP/183SO). The Roswell, GA native’s best start came on April 9, fanning 13 Vandy Commodores in 6.0 innings. He was named a first-team Preseason All-American by Baseball America as a reliever after serving as a closer in 2020 (1.20ERA, 5 games).

Cleveland Scouting DIrector Scott Barnsby on Ryan Webb:

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