Thursday, February 11, 2010

Buckeye State Baseball DI Top 20 profile Ryan Dew

In case you haven't caught this hopefully it is a good read on Dew.

Buckeye State Baseball's DI Top 20: #11 Ryan Dew

Potential is defined by Webster as: existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality. In sports potential is the beauty of something to be, or the anguish of what could have been.

Ohio State senior Ryan Dew donned the Scarlet & Gray in 2007 as a true freshman with all of the potential in the world. For Dew and the Buckeyes 2009 would be a beautiful season as Dew’s potential turned into production, leaving one wondering what is in store for 2010.

From day one Ryan Dew has been a staple in Coach Bob Todd’s line-up. Filling out an outfield that would see center-fielder Matt Angle drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh-round at year’s end, and corner-outfield counterpart J.B. Shuck be sixth-round draft pick by the Astros in 2008, it’s needless to say Dew was in pretty talented company.

Hailing from nearby Worthington where he attended Kilbourne with Ohio State teammates Cory Kovanda and Jared Strayer, Dew was immediately expected to contribute to an Ohio State team with lofty aspirations. Being plugged into the bottom half of the batting order, Dew responded with a respectable rookie season.

Appearing in 51 total games making 37 starts, Dew collected 35 hits in 130 at-bats for a .269 average. With four doubles, a triple, and home run to his credit Dew drove in 18 runs, scored 20, while slugging .338.

One should know by now a barometer of future success that is held dearly here is plate discipline. How one strikes out versus drawing walks is an indication of a batter having a good eye, judgement, and when providing with an average can paint a more fuller picture. Though he batted under .270, Dew drew 17 walks, while being sent down just eight times via strike outs. In other words he was putting the ball in play, just right at people.

With the 17 walks as well as two hit by pitch, Dew posted an on-base percentage of .360. Not a base running threat, Dew attempted three steals, swiping two successfully, though more than likely the attempts were failed hit-and-runs, a staple of Coach Todd.

In the field Dew adjusted to DI ball with ease, committing just one error in 50 chances for a .980 fielding percentage with an outfield assist.

Peaking at the right time, hitting .333 in the Big Ten Tournament as Ohio State became the first 6-seed in conference history to capture the title and Regional auto-bid, expectations where high for Dew entering his sophomore season. At 6′1, 205 Dew possessed the frame of a power hitter and now with a year’s experience he was surely going to break out.

Unfortunately that would not be the case. In echoing how the 2008 season as a whole went for the Buckeyes who went 30-26 overall, 15-15 for a fifth place Big Ten finish and 0-2 in the Big Ten Tournament, Dew struggled. Ohio State struggled. Times were not pretty in Columbus.

With 34 starts in 46 games played, the average for Dew dipped down to .261, in picking up 35 hits in 134 at-bats. With eight doubles, a triple, and three home runs, Dew collected 54 bases to slug .403 while driving in 27 with 22 runs to his credit. His on-base percentage fell to .327, walking just 11 times against seven strikeouts.

With the season clearly not going the way Ohio State and Dew wanted to, with the season on the line one at-bat summed up the spring of 2008.

Having trailed Indiana 4-0 after the first and 5-0 going into the bottom of the second of the first elimination game of the 2008 Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State clawed back to tie the game at 8-all going into the bottom of the 9th inning. As Shuck and Justin Miller walk back-to-back, the bases were loaded with one down and Dew stepping to the plate.

On a 1-1 pitch the left-handed hitting Dew rolled into a tailor-made 6-4-3 twin killing, being called out by half a step to end the 9th inning and the Bucks biggest and last chance to pull out the victory. Indiana scored two runs in the top of the 10th to win 10-8 and end Ohio State’s season.

Now the blame does not and did not rest on Dew’s shoulders. Ohio State has numerous chances to win that game, as well as turn the season around far before that point. However that at-bat and final inning would linger over the summer and into the fall. With options like Brian DeLucia and Mike Arp on the bench, many wondered if Dew would live up to his potential or is it time for another bat to step in.

Then it happened.

No longer were there questions of merit or skill. No longer were words like favoritism being used. No longer was potential being tossed around. Production was at the forefront of Dew’s 2009 season and all he did was produce to remove all doubt.

Not fully recovered from an injury occurred over the summer, Dew settled into the Buckeyes DH role and responded with an All-Big Ten season.

Appearing in all but one game for the 42-19 Buckeyes, making 57 starts Dew led the Scarlet & Gray with a .388 batting average off of 85 hits in 219 at-bats, an average that would finish fourth in the Big Ten. The 85 hits included 15 doubles, a triple, and seven home runs as Dew displayed a powerful bat many had expected.

In touching 123 bases Dew crossed home 53 times, drove in 42, and slugged .562. With an even 12 walks against 12 strike outs Dew’s junior season ended with a .429 on-base percentage, trailing just Kovanda’s mark of .431.

The monkey was off Dew’s back, his junior season showed why Bob Todd stuck him in the fire from day one, and his efforts paced Ohio State first Big Ten title since 2001.

Dew’s first-team All-Big Ten honor was matched with an All-Tallahassee Regional Tournament team selection for his efforts in Ohio State’s four NCAA postseason games in Tallahassee. Dew would also be named to the All-Big East/Big Ten Challenge team going 6-for-10 in the season opening weekend to bookend a memorable 2009 season.

As the Buckeyes get set to defend their conference championship, Dew still faces questions of possibility. Just now it’s infinite possibilities of production from one of the Big Ten’s best. Not that pesky potential word.

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