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From BR Bullpen
Ryan Cole Lavarnway
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 225 lb.
- School Yale University
- High School El Camino Real High School
- Debut August 18, 2011
- Born August 7, 1987 in Burbank, CA USA
 Biographical Information
Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was a 6th-round draft choice by the Boston Red Sox in the 2008 amateur draft out of Yale University. He was signed by scout Ray Fagnant and made his professional debut with the Lowell Spinners that year, hitting .211 in 22 games, then began to show serious power potential the next season when he hit 21 homers for the Greenville Drive while hitting .285 with 87 RBI. In 2010, he split his time between the Class-A Salem Red Sox and AA Portland Sea Dogs, hitting a combined .288 with 22 homers and 102 RBI. He was a Carolina League All-Star that year.
In 2011, Lavarnway began the year back at Portland where he continued to hit well, hitting 14 homers in 55 games. Promoted to the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox, he kept up his pace, with another 16 homers in his first 55 games. He was batting a combined .293 with 30 homers and 96 RBI in 110 games when the Red Sox called him up to the Show on August 18th, when they placed 3B Kevin Youkilis on the disabled list. With DH David Ortiz also unavailable for a few days due to a heel injury, Lavarnway was inserted in the starting line-up that day, DHing and batting 7th. He went 0 for 4 with a strikeout in his debut, but got his first major league hit the next day. He had a tremendous game in his first start behind the plate, taking over for the injured Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek on September 27th in a crucial game against the Baltimore Orioles with the Sox tied with the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card race with two games left in the season. He hit his first two major league homers in that game, then made a spectacular defensive play on a squibbler by Matt Wieters as the O's were rallying in the 9th and the Sox won, 8-7, to stay even with Tampa Bay heading into the season's last day. The Red Sox were eliminated the next day though, capping a brutal late-season collapse, and Ryan finished with a .231 average and those two homers in 17 games.
Lavarnway was an International League mid-season All-Star in 2012, then was recalled to Boston in early August when Kelly Shoppach was sent to the New York Mets. He was hitting .295 with 22 doubles and 8 homers in 83 games at Pawtucket and had been voted the best defensive catcher in the International League. On August 18th, he teamed with Craig Breslow to form the first all-Yale University battery in the major leagues since 1883 (Al Hubbard and Jack Jones).