The Phillies have added another former Major Leaguer to their minor league ranks, signing former Blue Jay and Royal infielder Ryan Goins to a minor league deal.
Goins was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Dallas Baptist College, a budding baseball hotspot of the 2000’s. After being selected by Toronto, Goins played just three games with the Blue Jays’ rookie ball club before being promoted to the organization’s Short Season A afiliate, the Auburn Doubledays. Goins would not spend the remainder of 2009 in Auburn, however, playing in 24 games before being promoted once more to the Full Season A Lansing Lugnuts. Prior to his promotion to Lansing, Goins hit .297 with eight RBI’s in just over 100 at bats. He struckout 23 times in 24 games, walking just eight times, but the Jays saw enough in him to give him the promotion. Goins spent the remainder of August in Lansing, appearing in 19 games with the Lugnuts. The infielder struggled in Single-A, hitting below .200 in 81 at bats. He again struckout 23 times, but only walked seven times at this stop.
Despite struggling in 2009, Goins was left in Lansing to begin the 2010 season. He fared significantly better in his second professional season, hitting .308 in 77 games played. He hit his first three professional homeruns in Lansing that season, driving in 35 runs in the process. His strikeout numbers were still high, as Goins struckout 60 times in 77 games, but his walk numbers improved, as he was put on base 35 times that year.
Midway through July, 2010, Goins was promoted to Advanced-A Dunedin, where he would remain for the rest of the season. The move was a tumultuous one for Goins, who hit just .205 at the next level. In 47 games, he drove in 18 runs but failed to hit a homerun. He slugged near a career low .257 in Dunedin as well.
Goins started 2011 in Dunedin once more, and remained there for the entirety of the 2011 campaign. He played 101 games at Dunedin in an injury shortened season, hitting .286. He hit another three homeruns, but this time drove in a career high 52 runs. He struckout just 67 times in 101 games, and as a result, his on base percentage shot into the .340’s. Because of his successful 2011 season, Goins was given a non-roster invite to Spring Training in 2012.
While he wouldn’t make the Blue Jays roster, Goins was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire to begin 2012. He played 136 games for the Fisher Cats that year, hitting .289 with a career high seven homeruns. He also extended his RBI peak by driving in 61 that season. 44 of Goins’ 158 hits that season went for extra bases. He also stole 15 bags in 2012, a career mark he has since to match.
Goins’ progression continued, as he advanced to Triple-A Buffalo prior to the 2013 season. He played in 111 games that year for the Bison, hitting .257 with six homeruns and 47 RBI’s. On August 23, Goins was called up to the big league roster, where he made his debut later that day. He replaced Maicer Izturis on the 25-man roster. He finished with debut going 2-4 with a double.
He wound up playing in 34 games with the Blue Jays in 2013, hitting .252. He walked just twice in 121 plate appearances, leading to an on base percentage of just .264. He also struckout 28 times in 34 games. He did, however, tie an organization record by hitting safely in eight consecutive games to begin his Major League career. It took Goins nearly a month to connect on his first big league homeruns, which he hit on September 18 against the Yankees.
Despite a decent rookie campaign, Goins was sent down to Triple-A less than a month into the 2014 season after hitting just .176 to open the campaign. He remained in the minors until July of that season, when he was recalled on the 22nd. He was sent down once more midway through August, only to be recalled again when the roster expanded to 40 players. He eventually played 64 games in the big leagues in 2014, hitting .188 with an on base percentage of .209.
Goins did not make the Opening Day roster in 2015, but instead began the year in Buffalo. He was recalled just two weeks into the season and played the remainder of 2015 with the Blue Jays. He appeared in 128 games, splitting time between several infield positions alongside Devon Travis. Goins finished the season hitting .250 in 376 at bats. He drove in 45 runs and walked a personal Major League best 45 times. His .318 on base percentage remains his best single season percentage to this day. The Blue Jays made a run into the 2015 playoffs, of which Goins played in every game of the Divisional Series. He went 0-17.
The veteran infielder started 2016 as the Blue Jays everyday second baseman. He was placed on the disabled list in early July with forearm tightness that caused him to miss 13 days. He was sent down to Triple-A upon returning from injury, where he would remain for just over two weeks before being recalled on August 19. Goins played in 76 games in 2016, hitting well below the Mendoza line, finishing the season batting .186. He drove in just 12 runs that year, adding three homeruns in the process.
2017 was the final year that Goins spent with the Blue Jays, and it was one of two seasons in which he remained with the big league club all year. Goins appeared in 143 games for Toronto in 2017, hitting .237 with a poor .287 on base percentage. He did, however, set career marks in homeruns (nine) and RBIs (62). 2017 marked the closest Goins would get to a 100 hit season, falling just one hit short of the century mark.
After the 2017 season, Goins elected free agency and signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals. He began the season with Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers before being called up just before the season started. In 41 games with the Royals, Goins struggled, hitting just .226. He again struggled to get on base consistently, posting an on base percentage just 26 points higher than his average. On June 28, Goins was designated for assignment. He was not claimed, and sent outright back to Omaha. Instead of playing in Triple-A, Goins elected free agency. A day later, the Phillies signed the infielder to a minor league deal.
Goins will join Danny Espinosa, Trevor Plouffe and Collin Cowgill as former Major League players signed over the last year playing for the Iron Pigs.
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports