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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Ryan Thibault aimed the ball in first pro start; Saw four pro seasons, made high-A, Australia

The Spokane Indians' Ryan Thibault's professional debut in July 1990 didn't turn out as he'd hoped as he gave up several runs early in a no-decision, The Spokane Spokesman-Review wrote.

"I started aiming the ball," Thibault explained to The Spokesman-Review afterward. "They didn't hit the ball too hard either, just a lot of dinkers."

Thibault went on to pitch in three more pro seasons, for four in all. He played in both the Padres and Brewers systems, and even in Australia. He topped out at high-A.

Thibault's career began that year in 1990, signed by the Padres as an undrafted free agent out of Los Angeles Pierce College.

He started with the Padres at short-season Spokane. He saw 22 outings, nine starts. He went 3-4, with a 3.84 ERA. He also saved four.

Thibault moved to single-A Waterloo. He went 4-6 there, with a 5.17 ERA. That offseason, Thibault traveled with other Padres farmhands to Australia. He played for the Brisbane Bandits and spoke to The Boston Globe about the transition.

"It was very tough my first night," Thibault told The Globe that January. "The noise was a big distraction. I couldn't concentrate on my pitches. ... It's a learning experience."

Thibault returned stateside to high-A High Desert. He went 4-5 there, with a 4.81 ERA in 44 outings, four starts. 

He then moved to the Brewers system for 1993. He saw 40 games at single-A Beloit and one at high-A Stockton. He went 4-5 that year, with a 4.52 ERA. That season marked his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,052
Made the Majors:1,346-33.2%
Never Made Majors:2,706-66.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:548
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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