2015 RHP/3B Ryan Mantle picks Missouri State

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Ryan Mantle culminated his rapid ascension up the ranks last week when the two-way standout from Linn HS verbally committed to Missouri State last week.  After a whirlwind three months which included standout performances at the Midwest Future Games, the PBR Labor Day Challenge and MVP effort at the Kernels Foundation Tournament, Mantle firmly established himself as one of the premier 2015 prospects in the Midwest.

Ultimately, Mantle decided to stay closer to home.

“I've always had a lot of interest in Missouri State,” said Mantle. “Coaches Guttin, Evans, and Thomas have built a very successful program. When I visited campus, I met with the coaches and players, and toured the facilities, it felt like a really good fit for me. I like the location of Springfield. Also, to have the opportunity to be a two way player was a very big factor.”

Ranked No. 5 in Missouri’s 2015 class and 45 overall, the 5-foot-10, 200-pounder said he had several suitors, which included Indiana State, Missouri, Kansas State, Western Kentucky, Iowa, Middle Tennessee State, and Arkansas State.

“Yes, I am relieved that I have made my decision,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to have the interest that was shown in me.”

Mantle first served notice at the Midwest Future Games in August, when he fired a 92-mph strike from third base, which broke the event infield record. Defensively, he also showcased soft hands, solid lateral footwork and overall natural third base actions.

Mantle continued to impress when he took the mound against Illinois. In Mantle’s first inning, the right-hander sat 89-90 mph with his fastball, topping at 91. His arm worked quick from a ¾ to high-3/4 slot, and gets excellent extension without a lot of effort. Mantle also showed a solid 78-81 mph changeup and a 75-76 mph curveball.

Aside from his natural arm strength, what really makes Mantle a legitimate two-way prospect is his offensive potential. He’s extremely balanced and compact in the box. His swing is simple, repeatable and, above all, aggressive. He generates considerable bat speed from his strong lower half; he has a level bat path and creates natural lift in his swing. The ball jumps off his bat with backspin and carry.