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Notre Dame The Place Mooney Wants To Be


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Notre Dame The Place Mooney Wants To Be

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Ryan Mooney

Class of 2023 / OF

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2023
  • Primary Position: OF
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep
    State: MI
  • Summer Team: Arsenal
  • Height: 6-3
    Weight: 160lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Pitching
76
Max FB
(05/17/19)
73 - 76
FB
(05/17/19)
62 - 66
CB
(05/17/19)
Pitching
Max FB
76
FB
73 - 76
CB
62 - 66
Pitching
Max FB
76
FB
74 - 76
CB
60 - 63
Position
6.83
60-yard
(03/07/20)
82
OF Velo
(03/07/20)
88
Exit Velo
(03/07/20)
Position
60-yard
6.83
OF Velo
82
Exit Velo
88
Position
60-yard
6.86
Exit Velo
79

Notre Dame The Place Mooney Wants To Be

ROCHESTER HILLS - Ryan Mooney admits he “wasn’t necessarily” a Notre Dame fan while growing up.

“But when I started wanting to attend college, Notre Dame was one of them,” Mooney noted.

The connection with the Atlantic Coast Conference school tightened after making a five-hour drive to the Indiana school in South Bend.

“I went there in middle to late June,” the sophomore from Orchard Lake St. Mary's said. “There is nothing like the campus in the world. There’s nowhere else I want to be.”

In August, the third-rated 2023 outfielder in Michigan made it official with a commitment to become part of the Fighting Irish baseball program.

“I started talking to them in May,” Mooney explained. “They saw a couple videos of me hitting and after talking my relationship with the coaches grew. They’re great coaches and even better people. They offered me in the middle of June and I talked it over with my family.

“It was a really tough decision,” added Mooney, who had offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Duke, South Carolina and Ohio State. “They’re all great schools and great options, but Notre Dame just felt like home. The school and the combination of athletics and being close to home, it was everything I ever wanted.”

Notre Dame saw plenty that stood out about the 10th-ranked 2023 in the state, who turned 16 back on July 28.

“The main thing about me they like is my athleticism,” Mooney related. “If I get a bad read I can make the adjustment and go get it. I’m able to be athletic with the game.”

Mooney, who runs a 6.83 time in the 60 with an 88 exit and 82 outfield velo - which was tied for the best at the PBR Michigan Limited Series in July - points to one specific area he has made strides of late.

“The main improvement in my game is me getting stronger,” Mooney noted. “It’s helped with bat speed, arm strength … everything. That made me stand out to them.”

There is more the 6-3 150-pounder is looking to do before his days at Notre Dame begin.

“I want to improve my overall power and strength,” Mooney said. “I want to gain 25 pounds before next season and keep that going until I get to Notre Dame.”

The goal of being a college ballplayer began early for Mooney.

“Around the age of six I started playing two years up,” Mooney said. “After watching and seeing great players on TV, I knew I wanted that to be me one day.”

It became more of a reality a year ago.

“Last summer schools started looking at me and it was then I knew this might be happening,” Mooney explained. “That just motivated me to want to get even better.”

His father Joe and brother Alex are credited by Mooney with pushing him to be the best he can be while Joe Neal and Joe Fava have been big on the strength side of things for the 4.21 GPA student planning on business as a college major.

“I’m looking forward to bringing a great player on the field to Notre Dame,” Mooney said. “I just need to be myself and play my game. Off the field I’m a fun guy who can bring the chemistry up. I can help everybody love the game and have fun.”

That is something Mooney has done since he began playing the game, even when COVID-19 meant no baseball in the spring.

“I have a gym downstairs and a cage outside,” Mooney related. “I’m blessed to have both. I knew I had to work out to stay in shape and get better.”

A change in positions proved beneficial for Mooney at a younger age.

“I played catcher when I was nine but since I started playing at the national level I’ve played outfield,” Mooney said. “My speed helps me out there. In the outfield you have the ability to get that adrenaline rush when you throw someone out or run and make a great catch. There’s no other position like it.”

Getting the opportunity to display his outfield skills at Notre Dame is exciting to Mooney, who admits the recruiting process had its ups and downs.

“It was different than I expected, not necessarily better or worse,” Mooney said. “Telling a school I wasn’t interested in them was hard to say, but seeing all the options and talking to all the great schools … not everyone has that luxury.

“Now that it’s all over and to know where I’m going to be … It just feels great.”