Posts Tagged ‘Ryan McCurdy’

Astros’ McCurdy Coming Along Fine

September 9, 2011

Ryan McCurdy, Catcher

In the middle of all the doubt and distrust generating from the way the delayed sale of the Astros to Jim Crane is working out, the bright spot remains the play of the kids that have been brought up to pay out the end of the 2011 season as the face of the future Houston Astros. Some of these players, like Jose Altuve, J.D. Martinez, and J.B. Shuck, are home-grown Astros products all the way. Others are recent trade-acquired prospects like Jimmy Paredes, Brett Wallace, Mark Melancon, Henry Sosa, and David Carpenter. The Astros had to give up stars like Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence, and Michael Bourn to get these latter new guys, and a few others, like a fellow named “Singleton”, who isn’t here yet, but these energetic and productive young guys are fast becoming our clearer and clearer dream portrait of how successful the future of the Astros can be, if only …. (You fill in the rest of the blanks here for a complete true thought).

One of the babies who isn’t here yet bears a name that’s very familiar to me, so, it’s only natural that I’m quite attracted to the prospect that there may be somebody out there who is capable of taking our family name where I could never bring it. Ryan McCurdy (no relation to anyone here at The Pecan Park Eagle) is the young man out of Duke University whom the Astros signed as a catching prospect during the 2010 season.

Ryan McCurdy hit only .148 in 20 games for Rookie League Greeneville and Class A Tri-City in 2010, but this year, he just finished the 2011 season at Tri-City of NY-PA League with a.328 batting average (33/102) with 6 doubles and 17 RBI. At age 23, he’s now moved up to finish the year on the roster of Lexington in the Class A Sally League.

And who knows? Maybe Mr. Jason Castro will leave a little open space for a second young catcher on some future roster of the Houston Astros? Let’s hope that all our young guys come through so strongly that right decisions on who to keep are the biggest problem facing the club.  By then. let’s hope that the franchise has a clear stable head with deep enough pockets and the business and baseball savvy they will need to lead this train of talent to where the City of Houston wants to go in the fairly near future.

Need I spell out where we want to go with our local efforts in major league baseball? It’s a place we’ve visited once, with a “close, but no cigar” result. Well, all we want is to finally win a few of these battles – and to be in contention every year, more often than not. Is that too much to ask for the 4th largest city in the United States?

My late dad once gave me some advice as a young man about buying cars that I think also applies to major league baseball franchises and just about anything else we pay big bucks to own. Dad Said: “Never buy a car you cannot afford to drive.” 

The application here is obvious: You don’t buy a major league franchise for $680 million dollars, if you cannot afford to run the organization as though it were really worth that much money. Just as you don’t buy a Cadillac to hide in the garage and never drive for the sake of protecting your investment, you don’t buy a major league club to hide away and depreciate in value because you could not afford to drive it to the winner’s circle at the World Series.

If you are the new owner of the Astros, get behind the kids and help them develop as the best team of major leaguers Houston could assemble!

Go Ryan! Go McCurdy! Go All! Go Astros!

Astros Farmhand Dedicated To Duke Baseball

November 28, 2010

Ryan McCurdy

Some of you will recall the column I wrote for The Pecan Park Eagle earlier this past summer, shortly after the Houston Astros signed a young catcher out of Duke University named Ryan McCurdy.

McCurdy left college play after his 2010 graduation with a record for athletic/academic excellence and a reputation for great playing dexterity and defensive accomplishment.  In four seasons as a starter at Duke, McCurdy  excelled at three positions.He started at second base man during his freshman season, then moved over to third base for his sophomore and junior years. Then, as a senior, McCurdy picked up the so-called “tools of ignorance” for the first time to play catcher for the very first time in his young life s an organized baseball player.

As a catcher, all McCurdy did was play error-free ball while throwing out 19 runners attempting to steal. These results made sense. During his four complete seasons at Duke, McCurdy committed only 19 errors in 865 career chances for a defensive success percentage of .978. All 19 of McCurdy’s errors occurred during his freshman and sophomore years. He made no errors in the field as a full-time starter again during his junior and senior seasons.

What else, you ask? The guy was tough for the hard-throwing “K” boys, striking out only 44 times in 820 college career plate appearances. He als posted a career on base percentage (OBP) of .397 and set a Duke and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) career record for HBP (hit by the pitcher) first base reaches with 69. As a throw in on his brains credit, McCurdy earned All-ACC Academic Baseball Team honors twice and also made the ACC Academic Honor Roll three times.

After signing with the Astros, the Tampa, Florida native McCurdy played in only 20 games at the Rookie League and Class A levels, going 4 for 37 and .148 batting average in a handful of break-in season times at bat. The real test at the professional level for young Ryan McCurdy lays ahead of him. The book on his intelligence, character, and dedication to Duke University baseball is already in.

During this off-season, McCurdy has agreed to serve as a volunteer member of the coaching staff at Duke until its time to leaving for his own 2011 spring training obligations to the Houston Astros farm system.

Even if we didn’t share the same last name, I’m pulling for Ryan McCurdy to make it all the way to the starting job as catcher for the Houston Astros someday. Traits like character and intelligence don’t necessarily have to accompany athletic ability for a young guy to make it to the majors, but it sure doesn’t hurt to find them in the field general position of catcher, especially. The great Brad Ausmus and young Jason Castro of our current Astros roster are both good examples of those types as well. Come on, Ryan McCurdy, let’s get it going. There’s room in Houston for both you and Mr. Castro.

Astros Sign McCurdy

July 7, 2010

Ryan McCurdy is from Duke University. If he makes it all the way to the top, he will become only the second McCurdy in history to reach the major leagues of baseball.

The Houston Astros have signed a McCurdy! No, not this one. In spite of current circumstances, the club isn’t that desperate for playing talent. Their guy is named Ryan McCurdy, a 22-year old catcher out of Duke University. The (BR/TR) 5’10”, 175 pound young man is the same height and about twenty pounds heavier than I was at that age. He was born in Tampa, Florida in a general area of the country where I have a few scattered McCurdy relatives, but no known connection to this young man beyond the facts that we are both baseball guys, both the same height, and three days off from each other on our natal birthday celebrations. Ryan was born on 12/28/87. I was born on  12/31 – just a tad bit earlier in 1937.

If Ryan McCurdy makes it the top, he will become only the second McCurdy to make it to the big leagues. The other was Harry McCurdy, also a catcher, who had some pretty good years with the Houston Buffs (1924-25) and in the majors with the Cardinals, White Sox, Phillies, and Reds. Harry batted .361 in a full season for the 1925 Buffs and .282 over his ten seasons in the bigs (1922-23, 26-28, 30-34). After his retirement, Harry McCurdy made his home in Houston and served for many years as the Principal of Hogg Junior High School in the Heights. We used to get his calls all the time at our house from parents trying to locate Harry for conferences.

Harry McCurdy, Catcher

We weren’t related to Harry McCurdy either, but we did  have one possible relative, also on the McCurdy side, to make it to the big leagues. My late dad always claimed that we were related to Bob Myrick, who went 3-6, 3.48 as a right-handed pitcher for the New York Mets from 1976-78. I never met Bob Myrick nor really tried to determine if we were distant cousins from the family’s earlier days in Mississippi because it just didn’t matter to me, but I do have to admit: I hope the Ryan McCurdy kid makes it, even if he’s no relation. After all, there haven’t been many of our name to get there before Ryan – and that one was a catcher too.

I don’t know much about the player Ryan McCurdy beyond the facts that he enjoyed an outstanding high school hitting career and that he played college ball at Duke University. Like Mr. Castro’s Stanford, Duke s no dumping ground for dummies. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Astros put in a spot where they have to choose between, or else, platoon, two catchers from Stanford and Duke.

Ryan McCurdy, Catcher, Greeneville {TN) Astros

If Ryan McCurdy is going to make it as a serious challenger at catcher for the Houston Astros someday, like all our other young guys, he’s going to need time to develop on the vine. The direction that Ed Wade is taking now is a good one: With enough talent in the minor league orchards, the big club doesn’t have to pick the few good ones too soon for the longtime greater good.

Young McCurdy isn’t exactly off to a blazing start. He’s one single for nine times at bat in his first few games as an Appalachian Rookie Leaguer. At least, they gave him a good uniform digit to wear. The number “3” doesn’t carry with it the burden of too much expectation, does it? Of course, at catcher, I think the expectation load is much heavier if the club assigns number “8” to your back!

Good Luck, Ryan McCurdy! You can bet for sure that I will be pulling for you!