On July 23, 2017, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 1B/OF Ryan McBroom was getting ready to face the Trenton Thunder at ARM & HAMMER Park to finish a four-game series in Trenton.
Instead, he was told to pack his bags, he was being traded… to the New York Yankees and was assigned to the Trenton Thunder. So McBroom took the long journey of a few hundred feet to the Trenton clubhouse to get acquainted with his new teammates and reunite with an old friend.
“That was just weird, to be honest with you,” McBroom said. “Leaving all my friends over there and coming over here but it was okay because I had Billy (Fleming) introduce me to all the guys, so it was easy.”
McBroom and INF Billy Fleming were both teammates at West Virginia University so having someone he knew made the transition a lot easier.
“He’s made it super comfortable for me,” McBroom said. “I actually lived with him and his parents last year, they live pretty close to Trenton so they were able to put me up in a house and they’ve truly been a family to me, that’s my brother pretty much, I was fortunate to have him in the organization to show me the ropes.”
In 38 games with the Thunder last season, McBroom slashed .257/.327.379 and hit four Home Runs and 16 RBI’s.
After spending all of last year in Double-A (both with the Thunder and the Fisher Cats), McBroom began the year playing Triple-A baseball up in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
With a slash line of .269/.300//407 in his first two months in Triple-A, McBroom was putting up pretty good numbers but was ultimately sent down to play in Trenton again on June 1.
McBroom would only play five games with the Thunder before he shot back up to Scranton on June 8. But on June 19, after a stretch of 10 games where he went 17-43 (.395) with three Home Runs and 14 RBI’s, he would yet again head down to New Jersey’s state capital where he would only play eight games before he was called back up to Scranton on June 29.
“I didn’t ask too many questions,” McBroom said. “I kinda just went with the flow because I know in the grand scheme of things you get to play baseball and perform regardless of where you are, and sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you’re getting at-bats and playing every day.”
On July 23, 2018, exactly one year after he was traded, McBroom would find himself in the same place he was 365 days before: In the Trenton Thunder clubhouse. He was once again sent down on July 19 before being sent back up to Scranton on August 2.
“The reason was that they sent me down was that wanted me to play first base,” McBroom said. “I was playing outfield there a lot, and then they got (Mike) Ford and [had] (Tyler) Austin rotating at first, nothing really to it, no emotion from me to be honest with you, I just got to go take care of business.”
In 78 games with Scranton, McBroom is hitting .298 with nine home runs and 33 RBI’s and is still the team leader in hits with 86.
“It’s amazing how he and a lot of the guys have taken it when we send them down,” Railriders manager Bobby Mitchell said. “They shoot back up pretty quick, so they know it’s a part of the organization and a part of the game but you just gotta get out there and play the way you know how to play.”
In 25 games with Trenton this year, McBroom was slashing .324/.378/.510with four home runs and 14 RBI’s.
When you add up his stats between both levels, McBroom is hitting ..283 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI’s. While the power numbers might not be there like they were in previous seasons, the batting average has vastly improved over last year’s .247 average.
“I just want to continue to stick with my approach at the plate, regardless of where I’m at,” McBroom said. “I know I have to help the team win and put up numbers and do damage and things like that so I kind of just want to really focus in this last month and a week or whatever we have left to continue to improve my game at the plate and figure things out and just stay with my approach.”
McBroom’s defense has been phenomenal this year at first base as well. With 471 total chances across Double-A and Triple-A, McBroom has only committed two errors when he plays first base.
“First has always been my position,” McBroom said. “I’m super comfortable over there; I take a lot of pride in it.”
McBroom has a chance to break into the big leagues by playing first base as Greg Bird has struggled, hitting .218/.307/.723 in 197 MLB at-bats. And after trading away Austin, his replacement – Luke Voit – is hitting just .118/.250/.544 in 17 at-bats in the big leagues.
“It’s a tough organization to break with into the big leagues,” McBroom said. “There’s a lot of major league guys that I’ve seen in this organization that aren’t in the big leagues, but it’s just a testament to this organization on how they improve players and how they work with guys to make them big-league ballplayers.”
After spending one year in the Yankees organization, McBroom feels that he has vastly improved as a player and the stats back that up as well.
“I can tell I’ve gotten a lot better both offensively and defensively since I’ve been here,” McBroom said. “This time last year I wasn’t nearly the player I am today, it’s been cool to be a part of and watch myself grow.”