By: Braydon Holmyard
DUNEDIN, Fla., - Ryan Metzler watched his dad pull into the driveway just moments after finding out his life-long dream had come true.
An unexpected early morning phone call informed him that there was a chance he would get drafted earlier than he thought.
Several hours later, his name was called.
“I wasn’t supposed to go so early,” Metzler said, adding that his dad came home from work seconds after he found out he had been selected.
“He went nuts," Metzler said. "My dad is a pretty calm and relaxed guy, but he went crazy.”
The Glen Burnie, Maryland, native was drafted as a second baseman by the Toronto Blue Jays in the ninth round of the 2014 MLB draft.
Metzler’s production at the University of South Carolina Aiken earned him a higher draft slot. In two seasons with the Pacers, he slashed .367/.425/.507 and started in all 108 games.
Metzler has spent two years with the Class-A Vancouver Canadians. Having played with a young group of ballplayers out West, the 22-year-old shares what he already has to offer a clubhouse.
That includes leadership and being able to push guys in the right direction.
A few adjustments improved his batting average from .239 in his first season to .283 in 2015. He continues to analyze his game.
“I think my bat will start to come around a lot more, and then hopefully I’ll start stealing more bases, Metzler said, "I was able to pull the trigger a little more in college and had the confidence that I was going to get that base.”
While his destination for the upcoming season remains unclear, Metzler is just looking for a chance to improve.
“I want to try to be on the field every day, and I don’t really care where that is."