Ryan P. Tatusko, RHP
Born 3/27/1985 (Merrillville, Indiana)
Acquired from Texas Rangers for Cristian Guzman [2007 draft pick in the 18th round from Indiana State]
6'5", 200 lbs.Career So Far
During four years with the Texas Rangers minor league system (three class-A affiliates and AA Frisco), Ryan Tatusko bounced between starting and relief roles, racking up 58 starts in 101 total appearances. In 2010, armed with a fastball that now reached 92-94 miles an hour, he posted a 2.97 ERA, 1.340 WHIP, and 5.4 K/9 in the hitter-friendly Texas League - allowing just two home runs in 100 innings.
So the Nationals acquired him, along with his teammate Tanner Roark, in exchange for Cristian Guzman midway through 2010. Tatusko's arrival in AA Harrisburg was nothing short of electric: six starts over which he pitched 36.2 innings, with a K/BB of 36/13 and a WHIP of 1.173. GM Mike Rizzo cited Tatusko's "great stuff" and "really good curveball" as inspiration for the trade, and no doubt his groundout tendencies as well: since the start of 2010, he's allowed 4 home runs in 149.2 innings (0.24 HR/9).
According to an interview at Federal Baseball (link here
I owe 98% of my success [in 2010] to my altered mechanics. I started studying some game film of myself in A Ball and I noticed that I wasn't generating any power in my lower half, and I started working extensively with Indianapolis' pitching coach Jay Lehr alongside fellow Nat Drew Storen. I really worked on keeping everything in line and not rushing with my upper body, and doing that has allowed me to stay behind and on top of the ball and start generating my natural movement again. That natural movement, I believe has allowed me to keep the ball on the ground a lot more and have the success I've been having.
2011 has been a poor year for Tatusko so far, though - at least after just 3 starts. Those first three have totaled just 13 innings, thanks to 10 walks and 21 hits. Tatusko's still striking 'em out (11 Ks) and hasn't given up any homers, but - in his own opinion, on Twitter - "gotta figure out my 1inn meltdowns." On the other hand, he's "Building off the positives from last start, starting to feel better.....still got a lot of work to do."Off the Field
According to that interview with Federal Baseball (link here
I grew up in Noblesville, IN which is about 25min NE of Indianapolis. After attending Noblesville High School, I had Tommy John surgery then played 3 seasons with Indiana St University [when] I was drafted by the Rangers in the 18th round. My biggest role model was actually Nolan Ryan, so when he became apart of the Rangers' organization I was really excited....
He blogs at http://ryantatusko.tumblr.com/
He tweets at @RyanTatusko, where he has commented things like:
"I worked with mentally challenged kids all my life (since HS) I love every moment of it. As a matter of fact kid I became good friends with is in a wheelchair in Dallas, very hadicapped, yet he has taught me more about the human spirit [than] I could ever learn! Very very humbling" [photo below right attached]
Ryan Tatusko on the mound and off: