Ryan Ludwick
Ryan Ludwick
40-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ryan Ludwick in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Released by the Rangers in March of 2015.
OFTexas Rangers  
March 29, 2015
Ludwick was released by the Rangers on Sunday, John Blake of the team's official website reports.
Ludwick found out earlier in the week that he wouldn't make the big-league club, and he apparently prefers to look for employment elsewhere. While unlikely to land on an Opening Day roster, the 36-year-old outfielder should draw some interest from other organizations in need of depth. Coming off poor seasons in 2013 and 2014, Ludwick struggled at the plate this spring.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Ludwick never fully recovered from his 2013 Opening Day shoulder injury, hitting just 11 homers since the injury. It was a no-brainer for the Reds to turn down his $9 million option for 2015, and at age 36, he'll hope to latch on as a platoon hitter somewhere, hopefully where his defense isn't that important. It's hard to envision him approaching the 20-homer, 80-RBI level again in his career.
Ludwick's Opening Day shoulder injury was a critical blow to the Reds' offense, not just in removing his contributions, but also in what it did to the rest of the lineup. They lacked steady production from their remaining right-handed hitters, and it pushed others into spots in the lineup where they weren't best equipped, especially Zack Cozart in the second spot. When Ludwick returned in August, it was clear he hadn't fully recovered or gotten his timing back, as he was limited to a .086 ISO in 140 plate appearances. Ludwick's contract (a two-year, $15 million deal inked in December, 2012) ensures that he'll get another shot in left field for the Reds. At age 35, it's no guarantee that he bounces all the way back to 2012 levels.
Ludwick and the Reds took a chance on each other late in the offseason last year with it paying off in a big way. Freed from ballparks where flyballs go to die, Ludwick pounded 26 homers in 422 at-bats and was the Reds' best hitter in the playoffs. The Reds were happy enough with that performance to bring him back on a two-year, $15 million deal in December. Given Ludwick's track record and expected role, a similar line to last season is a reasonable expectation for him thanks to the benefit of playing half of his games at Great American Ballpark again.
Ludwick hit poorly for the Padres in the first half of 2011 and completed his disappointing season with equally bad numbers in Pittsburgh. The outfielder struggled to a .674 OPS with the Padres and a .671 mark with the Bucs, more than 100 points lower than his .787 career OPS in nine seasons. There's no reason he can't rebound somewhat in 2012, but at age 33 his career has likely peaked. His career year of 2008 -- 37 homers and 113 RBI -- appears to be farther and farther away in the rear-view mirror, but he should rebound somewhat in the power department after signing with the Reds in January. Look for Ludwick to work in tandem with Chris Heisey in left field, taking the starts against left-handed pitching as part of a platoon.
Ludwick started 2010 as a member of the Cardinals, before being traded at the deadline to San Diego. He battled a calf injury in July and his overall line (.211/.301/.330) as a member of the Padres was likely depressed by a .260 BABIP. A free-swinger, his batting average and slugging percentage have fallen each of the last two seasons, since he broke through in 2008. Playing in PETCO Park won't help those figures, but in 2011 Ludwick should improve upon the numbers he put up in 2010 assuming that he's healthy.
Ludwick fell back to earth in 2009, but 22 home runs and 97 RBI aren't anything to sneeze at. He's already 31, however, and although he doesn't have a lot of miles on his major league tires, his power decline could be coming soon. He should man right field in St. Louis again this season.
Ludwick has always been able to hit, but even a decent 2007 couldn't have possibly predicted his 2008 outburst. The difference between 2007 and 2008 - besides more playing time - was that Ludwick figured out lefties, hitting .266/.353/.576 against southpaws. He should have a spot in the outfield all to himself in 2009, but he'll obviously command a much higher price this year than he did last year. One fact you may not know: he's already 30.
Ludwick's first year with the Cardinals was a resounding success, as he hit 14 home runs and 22 doubles in just 303 at-bats. He finished the season on a high note, hitting .314/.422/.488 as an everyday player in September. Now that So Taguchi and Juan Encarnacion are out of the picture, Ludwick is primed to take on a bigger role in the St. Louis outfield this season. If Ludwick can figure out lefties (only .221/.307/.377 last year), he'll be a very busy fourth outfielder.
Ludwick had a big year at Triple-A Toledo last season, hitting 28 home runs to help lead the Mud Hens to their second International League title in a row. He has a lengthy injury history so it was encouraging to see him make it through the season without any significant problems. He'd be a fine reserve outfielder in the majors but it remains to be seen if the Cardinals will give him that opportunity.
Ludwick spent most of last season at Triple-A Buffalo in the Cleveland organization before he broke his wrist in August forcing him to miss the rest of the regular season. The Tigers signed him to a minor league contract and will let him compete for a reserve job this spring.
Ludwick's Major League career has been less than stellar thus far. Known for his strong arm in the outfield, Ludwick has yet to break out at the plate. Last year he spent most of the season trying to rehab from surgery on his right knee, but when healthy was used as a right-handed power hitter off the bench. Through a few seasons in the minors, he has shown increasing power and ability to get the ball in the air, and to be fair has not got enough playing time in the majors to have his abilities judged. He is a favorite of Indians manager Eric Wedge, and will be a definite option going into the 2005 season in the outfield, especially now that Matt Lawton has been traded to the Pirates.
Ludwick is starting to get the ball in the air more (.41 groundball/flyball ratio in 2003, vs. .92 in 2002), and with his power, he should be good for double-digit home runs in 2004, playing time willing. Ludwick was just starting to gain some traction and play everyday in the Indians' lineup when a knee injury sidelined him for the season. He will fight for playing time with Matt Lawton, Alex Escobar, Coco Crisp, and Ben Broussard, between the left field and DH spots.
A fractured hip in August ended Ludwick's season, and there's some doubt whether he'll be ready once spring training rolls around. If healthy, he'd be getting consideration for Texas' vacany in centerfield. He hit as expected at Triple-A before the injury, showing good patience and pop. It would be a real shame if he were injured to the point where he can't compete for the centerfield job this spring. He would be a good bet to post a .260/20 HR season if given regular at-bats in the big leagues.
More Fantasy News
OFTexas Rangers  
March 26, 2015
Ludwick will not make the Opening Day roster, and he is now considering his options, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
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OFTexas Rangers  
March 20, 2015
Ludwick has just four hits in 21 at-bats this spring, with the left field competition yet to be decided according to the team's web site.
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OFTexas Rangers  
February 4, 2015
Ludwick agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers on Wednesday that includes an invite to spring training, John Blake of the team's official site reports.
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OFFree Agent  
October 29, 2014
The Reds have declined Ludwick's $9 million team option, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports.
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OFCincinnati Reds  
September 24, 2014
Ludwick is out of the lineup Wednesday against the Brewers.
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