Lake Erie student drafted by Texas Rangers by Kyle Akins
In June, Lake Erie College shortstop Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele) lived a lifelong dream and became the first player in school history selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when the Texas Rangers selected him with the 23rd pick of the 17th round, number 534 overall. Rua quickly signed a professional contract and was sent to Spokane, Washington and the Rangers level A-ball affiliate. He spent a week there filling in for an injured player before being sent to the traditional rookie level affiliate in the Arizona League. There, Rua got off to a monster start and finished the season batting .321 with a .907 OPS, hitting three home runs while driving in 34 runs and scoring 41 in 45 games. His AZL Rangers were crowned division champs. “We are really proud of the way the hard work Ryan put in for three years here at Lake Erie is paying off for him,” said Lake Erie Head Coach Brian McGee. “He really got off to a great start down there in Arizona and it doesn’t surprise me one bit.” For the Storm, Rua batted an even .400 for the second straight season in 2011 and set single-season school records with 68 hits and 19 stolen bases. He also led the team with
44 RBI, 42 runs scored and 16 doubles while tying for the team lead with five home runs. Rua slugged a team-high .594 and had a Storm-best 1.031 OPS, starting all 47 games and helping the team set a school record in wins.
The shortstop earned several awards for his superb season including spots on the All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team, the American Baseball Coaches Association, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Daktronics Inc. All-Region teams and honorable mention honors on the Daktronics All-America team. For his Lake Erie career, Rua had a .374 average with 27 home runs and 131 RBI. He roped 276 hits and scored 117 runs while swiping 33 bases. He is the school’s career leader in slugging, homers, RBI, total bases and stolen base percentage.
Rua has not forgotten about his Lake Erie ties, visiting on several occasions this September while on break from baseball before he returns to the Rangers’ instructional league team later this fall. The College honored Rua for his accomplishments at halftime of the September 17th football game against Saginaw Valley State University.
Ethan Snyder, Isaac Snyder, Jamil Dudle
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