The Ryon Healy version of my player profiles has been a long time coming. I started making it several times after he got called up last season, but I figured a player as promising as him deserved to get the limelight at the beginning of a new and exciting season, not at the end of another poopy (technical term) season. So with the Super Bowl over, it’s time for more Oakland A’s baseball!
Back in July of last year, while the A’s were doing their best to keep their collective head above water, games were getting more and more cringe-worthy — for those of us still watching — and we clung to every strand of hope we were given. On July 15th (or, as I like to call it, a late birthday present to me) Ryon Healy was one of those strands.
Except he wasn’t what looked to be a glimpse into the future of the Oakland A’s, he was here now and ready to work his ass off. Healy kicked the butt-dragging Danny Valencia out of his daily position at third, reminding us of what would happen if your corner infielder actually hustled. Even a little bit.
While third might not be his calling, it was better than what we had been forced to grit our teeth through before. His bat, however, was on fire. How on fire? His first MLB hit was a 3-run homer.
Healy wasn’t done there. He ended the season with 13 dingers, 82 hits, 37 RBI, and AL Rookie of the Month status for September. The same month he crushed a 480-foot bomb off of Edison Volquez, contributing to the A’s 10-5 bashing of the Royals. So if you’re trying to figure out what to be excited about in 2017, here you go!
As the A’s are wont to do, the 25-year-old Healy is a California guy, hailing from West Hills, where he attended the same high school as the A’s new offseason acquisition, Trevor Plouffe.
After high school, Healy continued on to the University of Oregon Ducks, which means he is one of very few to not have to change team colors when he was drafted by the A’s. Same idea, but with more white shoes! As a junior, Healy set a Ducks single-season record with 56 RBI. He did not see his senior year, as he was selected by the A’s in the third round of the 2013 draft.
Ever wonder how Healy comes off like a veteran in his interviews? He’s been training to do them since high school. No, really!
And then there was that time when Healy, Sonny Gray, and Kendall Graveman went to feed some giraffes at the Oakland Zoo, among other wholesome things. (Though I am still disappointed that Sean “Baby Giraffe” Manaea did not get to tag along for this trip so we could watch a giraffe feeding giraffes)
Spring Training is so close I can almost smell the cacti, and that means another A’s season is creeping closer and closer by the day. Time to get ourselves pumped for a fresh start in 2017!