For Padres Prospect Life is About Competition

Ryan Weathers learned to compete from his Big League father

The Padres officially introduced Ryan Weathers on Monday. Their first round draft pick signed for a $5.2 million dollar bonus and according to the Friars there is a lot to like with the latest Gatorade National Player of the Year.

“For a high school pitcher he commands the baseball very well,” said Padres General Manager A.J. Preller. “So he’s going to pro baseball with an ability to locate, command, he’s got a three pitch mix, he’s a big-time competitor.”

That last part is the one that really sticks out.

“Ultimately, starting out, I’m just a competitor,” said Weathers. “I hate it when the other team gets the best of me.”

Want proof?

During his senior season Weathers was hit with a ball while playing 1st base and suffered a small fracture in his pitching hand. He missed one start, then pitched more than 60 innings and allowed one earned run.

“He’s an extreme competitor and it comes out in any setting,” said Padres Scouting Director Mark Conner. “You sit down with the family and it’s an extremely competitive family. It starts at home and it finds itself on the field.”

Ryan’s father is David Weathers. He spent nearly two decades as a Major League pitcher. Only 18 pitchers in history appeared in more games.

“I saw dad day in and day out showing me how to work hard and ultimately earn your goals,” said Ryan. “Nothing is given in this game. There’s a lot of ups and downs and there’s a lot adversity in this game. He showed me how to get through that.”

But it’s not just father and son who have a healthy competitive streak. No Weathers likes to lose.

“You know we have trouble playing cards at home,” said David Weathers. “Somebody’s gonna quit; somebody’s gonna flip the … yeah it’s all of us. But me and him, we get after it pretty good.”

Basketball is one of their favorite activities. At least, it was.

“We haven’t played in a year because I won the last one,” said David. “I will go to my grave with a W the last time we played one-on-one.”

They got to spend plenty of other time together. During his playing career David … whose nickname is Stormy Weathers … had Ryan in tow as often as possible.

“Most dads wouldn’t take their kids to the ballpark every day,” said Ryan. “He sacrificed every day and let me hit bombs all day. He’s hit me ground balls nonstop, even days his arm was hanging down he’d still go out there and throw to me. I thank him for that.”

“It makes me glad, more than anything, that he saw his dad doing what I love to do,” said David, whose nickname was Stormy Weathers. “But there were times that I’d throw to him left-handed because my right arm was just, after three or four days in a row? And Dusty Baker would come out there and go ‘Stormy! Just one day take off!’ And I would point to Ryan and say I can’t, this guy won’t let me take a day off.”

All that time paid off. Ryan is about to head to Arizona to start his professional baseball career. He’s done a little research and knows he’s joining what multiple talent evaluators call the most talented minor league system in all of baseball. So what’s he looking forward to most?

“Just being around those guys every day. They’re gonna be competing with me, I’ll be competing with them, and ultimately it’s going to make me a better competitor.”

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