01 February 2011

Countdown to Scottsdale #20: Dan Runzler, RP

I sing the song of "Big" Dan Runzler, who rode a roller coaster straight to its peak in 2009 and just tried to hold on for the ride in 2010. A lefty specialist on a team full of talented lefties, Dan had to distinguish himself to be noticed. He's done that every time he's unleashed the nasty fastball-off-speed combination punch that tended to sink most National League hitters. Two years ago, he was just getting his start in pro ball, a ninth-round pick out of UC-Riverside — known all over Riverside as a baseball powerhouse. After stops in Augusta, San Jose, Connecticut, and Fresno — all in the course of one season — Dan got his cup of coffee and didn't screw it up: 11 appearances, 1 run, and a couple of "holds", whatever those are. He was having a fine sophomore effort when injury sidelined him through the dog days of '10. He returned to close out the season in style and watched his team's postseason run from the top step of the dugout. Here's to his future. How could it be any better than his present? One day, he could be the one throwing the final pitch of the baseball year.

Thanks, Dan.

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