Ryan Michael Westmoreland (born April 27, 1990), a former American baseball player, played minor league baseball after being drafted in 2008 by the Boston Red Sox organization. At the time, Westmoreland was considered one of the best prospects in baseball and had the stats to support it. However, he never got his chance to make it to the show since his career was cut short by a medical condition that required two brain surgeries. This is the story of the player known as “the left handed Mike Trout”.
While attending Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island Westmoreland was named to the All-State team and Gatorade Rhode Island Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008. After high school Ryan committed to attend Vanderbilt University on a baseball scholarship to play for the Vanderbilt Commodores. Eligible in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, at the end of his high school career, Baseball American rated Westmoreland the 113th-best prospect available in the draft. However, it was rumored that he would only consider signing a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox, his hometown team. Some believe this is why he fell to the 5th round and was not drafted sooner.
The Boston Red Sox drafted Westmoreland in the fifth round of the draft, with the 172nd overall selection. Westmoreland signed with the Red Sox, receiving a $2 million signing bonus. Assigned to the Lowell Spinners of the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League, Westmoreland batted .296 with seven home runs, 35 runs batted in (RBIs), and a .401 on base percentage in 60 games during the 2009 season.
Baseball America rated Westmoreland the 21st-best prospect in baseball prior to the 2010 season. Before the season began, Ryan began to experience physical weakness during training, and after having an MRI was diagnosed with a cavernous malformation in his brainstem. In March 2010, Westmoreland underwent brain surgery to repair the malformation. After surgery he continued to rehabilitate in an attempt to return to professional baseball in the 2011–12 offseason. Unfortunately following a setback in his rehabilitation, Westmoreland’s condition required a second surgery in July 2012. At this point Westmoreland and his doctors realized his medical condition would always hinder his performance and by playing he risked worsening his condition. Ryan announced his retirement from baseball on March 6, 2013. In June 2014, the Lowell Spinners retired Westmoreland's uniform number, 25, the first such honor by the Spinners for a player. A career cut short, who knows what might have been. Most people will never know his name, but given the opportunity he may well have been a household name in the city of Boston.