Ryan Steven Goleski
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 215 lb.
- School Eastern Michigan University
- High School Lake Orion High School
Ryan Goleski was the first pick in the 2006 Rule V Draft, but it later was revealed that his old team knew he was having wrist surgery and did not reveal this fact to the public, creating a controversy.
He hit 51 homers and drove in 167 runs in 155 games in college. He hit .310/.369/.641 in 2001 as a freshman. As a sophomore, he tied Kelly Hunt for the Mid-American Conference lead with 22 homers and batted .381/.461/.761, making the All-Conference team in the outfield. The next year, he hit .325/.394/.642 and smacked 17 home runs, two behind the Conference leader. The Cleveland Indians took him in the 24th round of the 2003 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Bill Schudlich and made his pro debut that summer.
Ryan debuted with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, hitting .296/.358/.473 and finishing 10th in the New York-Penn League in average; he tied Kevin Kouzmanoff for the team lead with 8 home runs. In 2004, Goleski starred for the Lake County Captains, producing at a .297/.372/.527 line with 28 home runs and 104 RBI. His 10 sacrifice flies led the South Atlantic League. He tied Adam Boeve for third in the SALLY in home runs and tied Jon Benick for second in RBI, two behind leader Delmon Young.
In 2005, Goleski had a horrible year at the plate. He only hit .212/.276/.382 for the Kinston Indians, with 134 strikeouts and 17 home runs. He bounced back the next year, batting .331/.441/.636 in 38 games for Kinston and .296/.370/.528 in 87 games for the Akron Aeros. Overall, he hit 27 homers, drove in 106 and cut his strikeouts to 117.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays made him the first pick in the 2006 Rule V Draft, then sold him to the Oakland Athletics. It was projected by many that he would have the top crack at Jay Payton's old starting spot. Shortly after the draft, though, it was revealed that on November 9 Goleski had surgery to remove bone chips in his wrist. Cleveland had not made this information available at the time of the draft. Goleski stayed with Oakland during spring training but was returned to Cleveland prior to the 2007 season.
Goleski batted .257/.332/.369 in 128 games for Akron in 2007, a significant decline perhaps attributable to his injury.