Ryan Thibert making contact at the plate (Connor Hedges/Lariat)
Ryan Thibert is a 2020 outfielder from Mission Viejo, California who is in his last year of eligibility at Saddleback College. Thibert returns to Saddleback after an impressive freshman year, batting .335 in 39 games last season. After receiving interest from a handful of division 1 schools, Thibert is seeking to build upon his resume this Spring. He looks to bounce back from off-season shoulder surgery to repair his anterior labrum. This surgery has been a true testament to him as a player, forcing him to change his throwing mechanics to prevent himself from further injury. Thibert met with the Lariat, at Doug Fritz Field on Jan. 24 to discuss his expectations for the 2020 season.
Q/A with Ryan Thibert
Q: How long did the team prepare for the upcoming season and when did the roster spots get filled?
A: We started preparing for the season during the fall semester. The program gained freshmen that were coming in from High School, returning freshmen from last season that are now sophomores and a handful of transfers that have also filled the roster. The roster spots started to form after ten games and scrimmages, after coaches got an idea of players performances. All of the hard work during the fall semester prepared the team for the upcoming season which lasts roughly five months.
Q: Since you are only weeks away from returning from your shoulder injury, what are you trying to improve on?
A: I want to improve on my mechanics due to poor mechanics being the cause of my injury. I’ve been working to get my body move correctly, continue to stay healthy and have fun with my team this year.
Q: What is the end goal for the team this season?
A: Our goal is to make it to the playoffs in May, we want to compete against our conference and continue on to win a State Championship. Baseball is a weird sport, not always the best team wins, it’s whoever gets hot at the right time.
Q: Are you planning to transfer from Saddleback College to a four year University to continue your baseball career?
A: Yes, I have talked to a handful of schools: University of Miami, Cal Poly SLO, University of Nevada, Reno. I played well last year and have to back it up again this year before I get a scholarship offer. I want to play professional baseball as well if everything goes as planned.
The Lariat will continue to follow Gaucho baseball and the Sophomores efforts. The Gauchos will meet up against the Santa Barbara Vaqueros on Jan. 31 at home at 6 p.m.