|Houston Astros – No. 45|
|Born: July 26, 1991|
St. Louis, Missouri
|May 14, 2017, for the Tampa Bay Rays|
|Career statistics |
(through April 9, 2022)
|Earned run average||3.86|
Ryne Thomas Stanek (born July 26, 1991) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2017. He previously played for the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.
Stanek attended the University of Arkansas, where he played for the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team. He was selected by the Rays in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. Stanek made his MLB debut in 2017, often appearing as an opener, before the Rays traded him to the Marlins in 2019.
Stanek attended Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kansas. As a senior, Stanek pitched to a 5–1 win–loss record, a 0.72 earned run average (ERA), and 71 strikeouts. Out of high school, Baseball America ranked Stanek as the 42nd best available player in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. The Seattle Mariners selected Stanek in the third round, with the 99th overall selection, but he did not sign.
Stanek then enrolled at the University of Arkansas to play college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team. In 2011, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. As a sophomore in 2012, Stanek pitched to an 8–4 win–loss record with a 2.82 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 92+2⁄3 innings pitched. He was named to the All-Tournament Team in the 2012 Houston College Classic. That summer, he played with the United States collegiate national baseball team.
Prior to the 2013 season, Stanek was named a pre-season All-American by Baseball America, Perfect Game, and Collegiate Baseball, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Pre-season Pitcher of the Year. On March 25, 2013, Stanek was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week. He finished his junior year with a 10–2 record, a 1.39 ERA, 79 strikeouts, and 41 walks in 97+1⁄3 innings. In his three years at Arkansas, he compiled a 22–8 record and a 2.55 ERA, with a batting average against of .216.
Stanek was considered one of the top available prospects in the 2013 MLB Draft, and was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 29th pick in the first round. Stanek signed with the Rays for a $1,758,300 signing bonus. He did not pitch professionally after he signed, and had surgery on his right acetabular labrum during the 2013–14 offseason, and missed the start of the 2014 season. He made his professional debut with the Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Class A Midwest League on May 8, 2014. After pitching to a 3–4 record and a 3.63 ERA for Bowling Green, the Rays promoted Stanek to the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in July.
Stanek began the 2015 season with Charlotte, and was later promoted to the Montgomery Biscuits of the Class AA Southern League. Stanek finished 2015 with a combined 8–5 record with a 3.04 ERA between the two clubs. He returned to Montgomery in 2016, and later joined the Durham Bulls of the Class AAA International League; he posted a combined 4–10 record with a 4.30 ERA between Montgomery and Durham. He was named to appear in the 2016 All-Star Futures Game. The Rays added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
The Rays promoted Stanek to the major leagues on May 13, 2017. He made his major league debut the next day. He ended the 2017 season with a 5.85 ERA in 21 appearances.
In 2018, Stanek found a niche spot working as "the opener", where he found immediate success with his high 90s fastball and newly introduced splitter. In June, Stanek technically set an MLB record by throwing seven consecutive scoreless starts. However, he pitched a mere 9+2⁄3 innings across those seven starts. Stanek also set a major league record with 17 straight starts allowing one run or fewer. On September 5, Stanek became the first rookie in 75 years to start in back-to-back games. For the majority of the season, Stanek was used as one of the Rays' "opening" starters, making 59 total appearances (29 starts). In 66+1⁄3 innings, he struck out 81 batters and recorded a 2.98 ERA.
The following season, the Rays continued using Stanek as an opener. Stanek hit the disabled list on July 20, 2019 with a hip injury. He had appeared in 41 games, 27 starts in 55+2⁄3 innings.
On July 31, 2019, the Rays traded Stanek and Jesús Sánchez to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards. On August 4, 2020, Stanek was placed on the injured list after contracting COVID-19 and returned a month later on September 4. On the year, Stanek pitched to a 7.20 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Marlins. On December 2, 2020, Stanek was non-tendered by the Marlins.
On January 7, 2021, Stanek signed a 1-year, $1.1 million contract with the Houston Astros.
In 2021 he was 3-5 with two saves and a 3.42 ERA in 72 relief appearances (4th in the AL).
Stanek throws a 4-seam fastball which stays in the high 90s and low hundreds, and a slider which is in the high 80s and low 90s.
Stanek is married to Survivor: David vs Goliath contestant Jessica Peet.