Mariners Minors: Ryne Harper – RHP – Tacoma Rainiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: GM Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on September 30, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: GM Jerry Dipoto of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on September 30, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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Up next on Mariners Minors, a 28-year-old reliever born in Sumter, South Carolina, who has had quite an interesting 2017. Earlier this year, Ryne Harper, went 9.2 consecutive innings over 9 appearances without surrendering a run.

So what’s the deal with this guy? Who is he and when could he make it with the Mariners? Read further and find out.

Background

We could start in college, where he played for Austin Peay State, but his story begins before that. So we’ll get to his time at Austin Peay, but not until we hit Clarksville High School first.

In Clarksville, TN, Harper was dominant his senior year. He pitched 52.1 innings, posted a WHIP of 0.88, and struck out 99 batters. His best performance of that year came when he struck out 17 in a complete game performance. Pitching like this led his team to a district championship and him being named district player of the year.

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After district play, the team headed to the regional round, where Harper’s team faced Smyrna High School. The game was the definition of a pitcher’s duel, and the final score saw Smyrna win, 1-0. The only reason I include this, is that the winning pitcher that day was Sonny Gray, currently pitching for the Oakland Athletics.

At Austin Peay, he posted a career ERA of 4.91 with a record of 11-10 over 3 seasons. He pitched 143 innings and had a strikeout to walk ratio of 118:60.

He was drafted in the 37th round of the 2011 Draft by the Atlanta Braves.

Career with the Mariners

The Braves traded Harper to the Mariners as a PTBNL in exchange for RHP Jose Ramirez on December 4, 2015. Ramirez is having nice season as a reliever for Atlanta this year, but we’re here to talk about Harper not him.

Harper’s first season in the organization was spent with AA Jackson. He appeared in 42 games, and posted an ERA of 2.51 in 62 innings. His K:BB was a solid 95:25 and opponents only hit .212 off of him.

This season he’s spent the bulk of his time with Tacoma, but the Mariners called him up, then sent him down and took him off the 40-man before he could throw a single pitch for the team. Seattle gave his roster spot to hard throwing Pat Light who was DFA’d by Pittsburgh.

Next: Mariners Minors: Robert Dugger - RHP - Clinton LumberKings

But in all, 2017 has gone well for Harper. He has pitched in 26 games and has an ERA of 2.61 in 30.2 innings. His K:BB is 37:13 and his opponents are hitting .225 off of him.

Final Thoughts

While he’s not just dominating the Rainiers opponents, he’s a solid reliever and can continue to grow into an even better reliever. If the Mariners wind up struggling in the second half and are out of contention come September, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Harper, otherwise, I think we probably see him a little next season as the Mariners try to give him a little more time at AAA.