Ryan Berry is on a roll at Delmarva

Right-hander Ryan Berry, the O’s ninth-round pick out of Rice last June, is on some pitching roll right now for the Delmarva Shorebirds.

Berry pitched seven scoreless last night vs. Savannah, giving up just three hits with ten strikeouts.

Over his last three starts, Berry has pitched 21 innings, allowing just 12 hits and one run, with four walks to 25 strikeouts.

He is 0-1, 2.23 in six starts on the season.

The 21-year-old Berry gave up four runs in the first inning of his third start of the year, April 18 vs. Hagerstown. He pitched five shutout innings that day after the first.

So, he has now allowed just one run over his last 26 innings.

While lefty batters are hitting .326 against him, right-handed batters are hitting only .200 vs. Berry and have struck out 27 times in 95 at bats vs. him.

Here is what O’s scouting director Joe Jordan told me this winter about Berry when I wrote a series of articles on last year’s draft picks.

Round 9 - RHP Ryan Berry of Rice University.
Berry, the 266th pick, was among the best pitchers in college baseball until he missed five weeks of the season with a strained muscle near his pitching shoulder. The O’s gave him a signing bonus of over $400,000 that was equal to what their third-round pick got.

The 21-year-old Berry did not pitch at all for the O’s this summer. At Rice in the 2009 season, he went 7-2, 2.42 in 81 2/3 innings and gave up 56 hits with 19 walks, 68 strikeouts and a .195 average against.

“I saw him pitch in early March. It was the best pitched game I saw all spring. A CG, about a two-hit shutout and for nine innings he threw the ball right where he was trying to. At that point, I had him in the late first round.
“He had three or four straight complete-game wins in a row and it was too much, too early and he got a bit tender.

“He was throwing 90 to 92 that day I saw him with life to the fastball, with command to both sides of the plate. He had a plus breaking ball and changeup. It was a complete over match.

“I saw him later, his stuff was a tick down. It wasn’t quite as sharp, but still good. I had concerns, as others did in the industry, with the history of Rice pitchers and staying healthy.

“I had a very good area scout in south Texas, Rich Morales. He really got to know Berry and he told me on draft day we could get him for third-round money. I thought he was full of it.

“I wanted to take him in the 6th round, but we kept running into guys we liked. So we took him in the 9th and the kid was true to his word.

“Our doctors checked out the medical notes and their feeling was he needed rest more than anything. He logged a lot of innings and never really had a lot of rest. He had a complete physical and checked out good.

“He did throw some in instructional league before going back to school in September. Our guys were like ‘you got to be kidding me,’ I mean it was good.

“In my opinion, he’s the first guy to the big leagues out of this draft. If he is healthy, which we believe he is 100 percent, he could start next year at Frederick and be at Double-A before next summer is over. That’s just what I think of him.

“He’s a little different, a little eccentric. He’s over the top smart. But he’s a pitcher that knows what he is doing. There’s a little (Mark the bird) Fydrich in this guy. He’s got his own beat, but when you see him out there he’s surgeon-like when he’s right.”

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