Meet Ryan Fleming, the Reigning MABL 18+ Rookie of the Year

2021 All-Star pitcher Ryan Fleming has pitched just twice since June 24, 2021, for the Waltham Cutters. Four of the seven Cutters’ games in July were postponed or called off in the middle of the game due to inclement weather. This includes that infamous tie against the Singing Surgeons on July 17.

“This season has been anything but normal and that’s coming from someone who started during a COVID-19 shortened season,” said Fleming. 

Fleming returned to the mound on August 1 against the Milton Fighting Irish. He proceeded to fire a four-hit shutout, walking two and strikeout ten. Half of his strikeouts were as a result of his curveball, one of three pitches in his repertoire. He also features a fastball and changeup.

Additionally, Fleming provided his own run support with an RBI fielder’s choice and then he proceeded to score from first on an RBI double by catcher Devin Conroy. This was in the middle of a four-run first inning that provided all the run support Fleming would need in the contest. Waltham won the game 5-0.

“I am very much a momentum pitcher,” said Fleming. “And from my perspective pitching from ahead is infinitely easier.” 

The win improved Fleming’s record to 2-0 this season and the Cutters’ record now stands at 10-4-1. He has started each of the last two games for Waltham firing 12 2/3 innings of two-run ball, surrendering eight hits, and collecting 19 strikeouts during those contests. 

“Once I am grooving, as long I am making competitive pitches, I don’t think there a lot of teams that can beat me straight up,” said Fleming.

Ryan Fleming has accounted for 45% of his team’s strikeouts on the mound this season. Photo by Whitney Dowds

During his 2021 campaign, Fleming has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his eight appearances. His only outlier this season came in his June 24 start, where he was charged with nine runs on 11 hits in four innings against the Middleboro Mocka Rays (15-2).  

This comes one season after finishing with a 3-1 record in seven appearances, where he gave up two runs or fewer in six of those games to help him win the MABL 18+ Rookie of the Year award in 2020. 

“What’s impressed me most about Ryan is his dedication to the game in always working to make himself better,” said Jeff Coveney, President of the Boston Men’s Baseball League and the Waltham Cutters’ manager. “That extra work has paid off on the field.” 

When he is not pitching, Fleming patrols right field. Offensively, he currently is tied for second on the Cutters in hits (11) and is ranked third in RBIs (5). 

The Cutters return to action against the Greater Boston Bandits (4-11) on August 11. The first pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Nipper Park in Waltham.