Over the next two days, I got to see the other Ryan Hartman. The one with a ready smile, a great personality and a silly streak.
Hartman was drafted by the Astros in the ninth round out of Tennessee Weslayan College and got off to a good start in his pro career, sporting a 1.40 ERA and a 1.190 WHIP in his first six appearances before getting roughed up a bit on Tuesday. In those first six games, he walked three batters while striking out 22.
I spoke with Tri-City Pitching Coach Drew French about Hartman, "He's going to be a really good lefthander. He's got kind of a 3/4 arm slot, some really smooth transitional things that he does in his delivery, a really nice arm stroke and he's got some life on his fastball. He's got a really good change up. He clearly relies heavily upon it, and has a lot of his career up to this point."
Hartman also throws a curveball that French is working with him on tightening up. Throwing a consistently good breaking pitch will be the key for Hartman as he progresses through the system. French noted, "That will come with time. We're still trying to get these guys acclimated. They get a 30-day window to kind of continue to be who they were and now we're starting to dump a few things on them the Astros way a little bit."
When I mentioned that I liked Hartman's pace and aggressiveness on the mound, French said, "He pitches to his personality which is good for him and I think a lot of people are going to like watching him because of that pace, his deliberateness and how he moves around and competes and battles and all that." And of that personality, French ranks Hartman an A+. I agree with that assessment.
Thank you for your time, Ryan, and keep being you. Best of luck as the season continues.
Hector Perez and Randy Cesar