Photo by Christopher Oertell @cjimagesnw
The latest C’s Chat zooms in on 2021 Vancouver Canadians catcher #22 Ryan Gold.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Gold has been with the Toronto Blue Jays organization since 2016 when he was drafted in the 27th round that year out of Carolina Forest High School in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Jays gave the left-handed hitting backstop a $100,000 signing bonus to turn down a commitment to Coastal Carolina to join his brother Jared, a lefthanded pitcher with the Chanticleers.
Born in La Hara, California, Gold and his family moved to Moorestown, New Jersey where Gold spent his three years of high school. As a catcher/infielder, Gold won First Team All Region and First Team All State honours during his time in the Garden State before moving to South Carolina for his senior year in 2016.
With Carolina Forest, Gold hit .349 with 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 22 runs batted in, leading the Panthers to the Class AAAA Lower State finals.
Gold was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays to begin his career in 2016, picking up his first professional base hit against the GCL Tigers June 30. His first homer came July 23 when he belted a three-run shot against the GCL Yankees July 23. He went on to hit .280 over 29 games that season.
The 2017 season saw Gold get assigned to Bluefield and not Vancouver as he originally hoped for out of extended spring training. He turned in a strong campaign in the Appalachian League by slashing .302/.382/.482 with 16 extra-base hits, including four home runs.
Gold bypassed Vancouver in 2018, making the jump to full-season baseball with the Lansing Lugnuts where he hit .264 with two home runs and 26 RBI and was successful on all three of his stolen base attempts. He added to his defensive portfolio by making 10 appearances at first base to go along with 36 starts behind the dish.
Lansing was where Gold would spend the 2019 season, earning a berth in the Midwest League All-Star Game along with 2018 Canadians pitchers Josh Winckowski and Cobi Johnson, first baseman Jake Brodt and infielder Nick Podkul. His best night as a professional to date came on April 18 when he hit for the cycle against the Dayton Dragons. Gold finished the year with a .239 batting average with 37 extra-base hits in 99 games, including seven home runs to go along with 51 RBI. He made 47 appearances as a catcher and 10 more as a first baseman.
Now the 23 year-old Gold finds himself wearing the red and white of the Canadians in 2021. C’s Plus Baseball caught up to Gold recently to talk about his draft experience, turning down Coastal Carolina to turn pro, his time with the Gulf Coast League, Bluefield and Lansing, dealing with the pandemic, the rule changes at the High-A West League, playing in Hillsboro and working with Blue Jays pitching prospects Luis Quinones, Adam Kloffenstein and Paxton Schultz.
Thanks a million to Ryan Gold for taking part in the latest instalment of C’s Chat. You can follow him on Twitter @ryangold22. Another million thanks to C’s play-by-play man Tyler Zickel for arranging the interview.