Ryan Paul Freel (born March 8, 1976 in Jacksonville, Florida) is a Major League Baseball utility player for the Chicago Cubs. Freel plays second base, third base, and all three outfield positions.
Freel attended Tallahassee Community College and was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1994 amateur entry draft, but did not sign. A year later, he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 1995 amateur draft. Freel played 6 seasons in the Toronto minor league system before making his Major League debut on April 4, 2001. He only played in 9 games for the Blue Jays in his rookie year, hitting .273 with 0 home runs, 3 RBI and 2 stolen bases. After the season was over, Freel was granted free agency and signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Freel played the entire 2002 season in the minor leagues with the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Devil Rays. He hit .261 with 8 home runs, 48 RBI, and 37 steals. On November 18, 2002, he signed with the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent.