Yarbrough pitching for the Rays in 2018
|Tampa Bay Rays – No. 48|
|Born: December 31, 1991|
|March 31, 2018, for the Tampa Bay Rays|
|MLB statistics |
(through September 10, 2019)
|Earned run average||3.72|
After graduating from All Saints' Academy in Winter Haven, Florida, Yarbrough played college baseball at Santa Fe Community College in 2011 before transferring to Old Dominion University. He pitched for Old Dominion in 2013 and 2014. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 20th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. In 2014, his senior season, he went 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 18 games (14 starts).
Minor League career
He was then drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft and signed. Yarbrough made his professional debut with the Pulaski Mariners. After two games, he was promoted to the Everett AquaSox. Overall, he pitched in 14 games (10 starts) and had a 1.27 earned run average (ERA) with 58 strikeouts in 42 2⁄3 innings in 2014. In 2015, he played for the AZL Mariners, Clinton LumberKings, and Bakersfield Blaze where he compiled a combined 4-8 record and 4.10 ERA in 22 starts, and in 2016, he pitched for the Jackson Generals where he was 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 25 games started.
On January 11, 2017, the Mariners traded Yarbrough, Mallex Smith, and Carlos Vargas to the Tampa Bay Rays for Drew Smyly. He spent the season with the Durham Bulls where he pitched to a 13-6 record and 3.43 ERA in 26 starts. The Rays added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
Tampa Bay Rays
On March 25, 2018, the Rays announced that Yarbrough had made the Opening Day roster. He made his debut against the Boston Red Sox, pitching four innings, allowing one run and recording three strikeouts. On September 6, 2018, Yarbrough tied a Rays franchise rookie record by recording his 14th win of the season. Yarbrough finished the season with 16 wins, the most for a rookie in franchise history, the most for a rookie in the 2018 season, and the second most on the team. Yarbrough finished his rookie season posting an earned run average of 3.91 over 141.1 innings despite working predominantly out of the bullpen. Yarbrough was mainly utilized as the "bulk guy" behind the Rays new "opener" strategy, in which a relief pitcher begins the game pitching 1-2 innings before giving the ball to a normal starter. On April 24, 2019, he was optioned to AAA after registering an ERA of 8.10 in 5 appearances.. Yarbrough eventually was called back up and showed much improvement, winning his 8th game and being added into the starting rotation, lowering his ERA to a modest 3.93 by the end of July. His run of success continued in the season's second half, as he improved his ERA to 3.51 and his WHIP to 0.88 by September 10, which would be second-best in MLB among starting pitchers if Yarbrough pitched enough innings to qualify. .
Yarbrough grew up a Rays fan.
- "MLB Draft: Yarbrough's Pitch to Get Better Pays Off". TheLedger.com. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- "Mariners dip into pitcher ranks in fourth round". Seattle Mariners. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- "Minor League Notebook: Yarbrough, Curcio Move Up to Next Level". TheLedger.com. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
- Chastain, Bill (January 11, 2017). "Rays trade Smyly for Smith, 2 Minor Leaguers". MLB.com. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
- "Ryan Yarbrough Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Chastain, Bill (January 20, 2016). "Brent Honeywell, Jake Bauers on Rays' roster | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- "Rays to drop Hudson, Jennings; put Chirinos, Kittredge and Yarbrough on team". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- "2018 Tampa Bay Rays Statistics | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-10-04.