It didn’t take much for Ryne Birk to get another shot in the pros.
Birk was an All-American at Texas A&M and despite his small stature (5’9″ and 185 lbs) saw great success. Birk was instrumental in A&M’s run to their first-ever SEC championship in (2016).
Following his junior season, he was drafted in the 13th round of the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft. Things we going just as planned right out of the gate. With 19 home runs and over 100 RBI in his first two seasons, the sky was the limit.
Unfortunately, 2018 was a different story. In 116 games Birk hit one home run, drove in 36 and batted .216. His wRC+ was hovering around the 60 mark, meaning his numbers (Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for important external factors) were nearly 50 percent below the league average.
Come 2019 and Birk signs an independent league deal with the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League, prior to their move to the Frontier League.
There, he put together one of the best all-round seasons of anyone in the league earning All-Star honours. All in all, he finished with a .317 average, the highest of his career, five long balls, 39 RBI, and a career-best .891 OPS.
Following the conclusion of the 2019 season, the Milwaukee Milkmen traded for Birk, and within two months of his acquisition, his contract was sold to the Los Angeles Angels.