Robert Ravago transitions from college setup man to closer with Marlins

Posted by : | On : 10-12-2012 | Comments (1)
After a dominant season in the setup role for Arizona State University, Robert Ravago a graduate of Pueblo Magnet High School and Pima Community College, continued his success on the mound as a closer with the Gulf Coast League Marlins in his first year of professional baseball.

“Being a setup man at Arizona State was one of the best jobs I’ve had. A set up man’s job was to keep the score where it is, and snuff out any momentum from the opposing dugout, but closing is definitely a different game,” Ravago said. “Fortunately, I’ve had some experience closing at ASU as well as many opportunities at Pima. So that helped me to be mentally tough out there in the GCL.”

The right-handed pitcher compiled seven saves in 21 games while earning a record of 2-1 with 20 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.00. The seven games he closed out tied for the fourth most saves among GCL pitchers.

In his second professional game on Tuesday, June 26, Ravago earned his first save and preserved a 4-1 win for the Marlins by striking out GCL Nationals’ hitter Hunter Bailey to end the game.

“The moment that stood out to me was definitely recording my first professional save. I take a lot of pride in closing games, so to successfully do my job in my first outing was a great feeling.”

Ravago was surprised when the Miami Marlins selected him in the 22nd round of the June Major League Draft, because he had not had much contact with the organization prior to the draft.

“I had never really talked to any Marlins scouts so that got me first, but then reality sank in that all my hard work and time spent off the field had paid off,” Ravago said. “I was one step closer to my dream. It was definitely a surreal feeling.”

The 22-year-old gained attention from the major league level after a college season in which he was honored with ASU’s Fireman Award given to the best pitcher out of their bullpen. In 27 games he struck out 21 batters and had an ERA of 2.56 in the setup role.

“ASU has given me the confidence and skill to compete with anyone at any level. There is a reason why Arizona State has had over 100 major leaguers,”

In his first year of college Ravago attended ASU in the fall, but was cut from the team. After two years at Pima, including a sophomore campaign where he had an ERA of 1.66 and four saves, he returned to Tempe as a walk-on player with no promises of a roster spot in the spring.

“I made it and became one of the best out of the bullpen,” said Ravago. “Arizona State has always been my dream school. The baseball program there has a very strong tradition, and they teach you to play the game right and with respect.”

This offseason, Ravago is living in Tempe finishing up degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology at ASU.

“I’m giving my arm a couple months of much needed rest, but still weight lifting and running to stay in shape until I report back to Florida in March.”

In high school, Ravago played three years on varsity for the Pueblo Warriors. His senior year he struck out 62 batters, won five games and was named First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-State.

“Some of my favorite moments at Pueblo were just playing with the friends that I’ve grown up with. Most of my teammates came up with me in Little League so that was always fun to play with them.”

 

This article was part of our weekly features series. Check out more of our weekly features by clicking on the link below.

Baseball Tucson Weekly Features

(01) Comment

  1. Sylvia Escobar said on

    Message: Robert we are all so proud of you! Keep up the good work.

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