Saturday, June 22, 2013

Keith Werman, Virginia Cavaliers

Keith Edward Werman
Keith Werman led the NCAA Division 1
 in sacrifice bunts with 28

Nickname: "The Ninja"
Born: October 1, 1989 in Vienna, Virginia
Hometown: Vienna, Virginia

High School: Oakton High School, Oakton Cougars, Class of 2008

College: University of Viginia, Cavaliers, 2009-2012

MLB: Seattle Mariners - undrafted free agent 2012
Minors: 2013 Clinton LumberKings
  Class A > 2013 Midwest League (Western)

Height/Weight: 5'7"  150 lbs
Bats: Left
Throws: Both (ambidextrous)
Positions: INF/C
Werman was a switch pitcher and shortstop, as a teenager.

Keith Werman is a dynamic ambidextrous baseball player who played second base in the College World Series for the Virginia Cavaliers. In 2009, he hit the team-best .417 in NCAA tournament, including .600 (6-for-10) in the College World Series.

When he was 13, he pitched a seven-inning complete game, throwing 3.1 innings left handed and 3.2 right handed to get the win.
How Keith Werman became an ambidextrous pitcher 
"I was born as a lefty. As I was starting to walk and pick up a ball, my dad and brother noticed that I was trying to grab and throw lefty and they would tell me no and put the ball in my right hand. They said that you need to be a righty because lefthanders only can pitch and play the outfield and first base. Knowing I wasn't going to be a very big guy, lefty wouldn't have been a good fit for me so they had me throw righty. When I was about seven or eight, they asked me to pick up a ball lefty and I started throwing it and it was natural. When I was 13, I threw a complete game - 3 1/3 lefty and 3 2/3 righty - it was pretty cool."
So how does that work? You just decide in the middle of the game to switch it up and throw on another glove while you're pitching?

Werman: My dad actually went online and found a six-finger glove so I can wear it on both hands. In that game I initially started out lefty and went as far as I could until a guy hit a double into left-center and I looked over to my dad, who was the coach at the time, and he said ‘switch it over,' so I switched hands and started throwing righty.

What was the reaction to that?

Werman: It was a pretty cool reaction. All the kids were like ‘whoa' and all starstruck. They were all up on the cage watching. The best was I was pitching righty and the first guy got on base and then I would switch to lefty and pick him off and then switch back righty and pitch, and they didn't know what happened.


Virginia Baseball - Keith Werman
A look at Keith Werman from the Virginia Baseball team.

Small Ball
Always “the small guy,” as Werman put it, he modeled his game after Derek Jeter and David Eckstein and learned the intricacies of bunting and moving runners over as a Little League shortstop playing for his father at Waters Field in Vienna. (

High School Stats
2008 Washington Post Northern Virginia Player of the Year.
Hit .435 as senior, .521 as junior; District Player of the Year, team MVP as junior.
2.0 pop time as a catcher; 75 mph INF

College Stats
Werman hit the team-best .417 in NCAA tournament, including .600 (6-for-10) in 2009 College World Series.
Keith Werman Bio - Viginia Cavaliers

In 2010, the Oakton High School graduate hit a team-leading .414 as a sophomore, fifth best average in program history, earning second-team All-ACC as the toughest batter in the conference to strike out.

Werman said, "I played with that 'you got nothing to lose attitude.' Just trying to make my spot in the lineup and try to get myself the best chance to play."

But at 5'7", 150 pounds, doubters and opposing fans have always had questions.

Werman said, "'Do you even have a license? How old are you, ten? How much do you really weigh, 100 pounds?' I get all that, and I really enjoy it. It just drives me to even want to play even harder and really beat those guys. Always being told I'm too small, not capable of playing at this level, that really drives you to want to get better."

His fans call him "The Ninja" for the stealth he brings to the baseball diamond.

Often the smallest kid on the field — he now stands at 5'7" and 150 pounds — he knows he's not going to be the power hitter who hits a walk-off homer with regularity.

"I came in my first year just wanting to do whatever I could to play and help the team. I still feel that way," Keith said.

And if he has learned anything from his father and older brother, who both coached him growing up, he's learned one must fail with grace to stand a chance of succeeding again.

"When he first started struggling this year, it started to affect his defense a little. But he got himself together defensively in these playoffs," said Frank Werman, his father. "He just does so many little things that people just don't realize until you look for it. They call him The Ninja because of that stealth. It fits him."

By Nicole Trifone, OaktonPatch, June 13, 2012

A week after Major League Baseball ended its draft, Oakton High graduate Keith Werman got a call: "Congratulations, you're now a professional baseball player," said a recruiter.
Werman, a 2008 Oakton High graduate, will join the Seattle Mariners organization in the minors after signing paperwork this week, he said. 
"I expect to go out there and have fun, and just give it everything I have," he said. "I've got nothing to lose. They want me to play for them, which is exciting and makes it easier to play. I'm going to go out there and compete and try to help the teams win to get a chance to work my way up."

Rounding the Bases with Keith Werman -

Keith Werman bunting stats (2010-12) 

Werman Called Up to Mariners' Class A Team

Keith Werman Baseball Profile | Perfect Game USA

Keith Werman -


Similar ambidextrous player:

Henry Knight - LHP/RHP, SS, C
Knight is a quick middle infielder who can lay down a bunt right- or left-handed. He switch pitches  in games and serves as a catcher for the Franklin Quakers in Seattle.

No comments:

Post a Comment