Ryan Cole Lavarnway (born August 7, 1987) is an American professional baseball catcher for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Boston Red Sox.
Lavarnway attended Yale University, where in 2007 he won the NCAA batting title by hitting .467, and led the NCAA with an .873 slugging percentage. That year, Lavarnway also set the Ivy League record with a 25-game hitting streak. In addition, he set the Ivy League all-time career home run record, with 33.
Lavarnway was drafted by the Red Sox in 2008. In 2009, he led the South Atlantic League with 59 extra-base hits, and in 2010 he was a Carolina League Mid-Season and Post-Season All Star, and was named the Red Sox co-Minor League Offensive Player of the Year. In 2011, after he hit 30 home runs in 478 minor league at bats, Baseball America named Lavarnway the best power prospect in the International League and named him the catcher on its 2011 Minor League All-Star Team, and the Red Sox organization named him co-winner of their Offensive Player of the Year award.
He was called up to the major leagues by the Red Sox in August 2011, and divided his playing time between Pawtucket and the majors after that. Entering the 2012 season he was the No. 9 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America, and that season he was the International League All Star starting catcher, and a post-season IL All-Star. In 2014 with Pawtucket, Lavarnway led the team to the International League title, and was voted MVP of the IL series.
By Dean Hanley
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