Saturday, July 27, 2013

Matt Brunnig, Harvard University - "Freak"

Matt Brunnig

Hometown: Deland, Florida
High School: Home schooled

College: Harvard University (Class of 2006)
Played for coach Joe Walsh

Positions: RHP / LHP
Bats: Switch hitter
Throws: Both, ambidextrous

Dominant Hand: Matt is a natural right-hander who learned to throw with both arms when he was 6-years-old.

Brunnig was called "Freak" by his Harvard teammates.

His dad was a chiropractor who wanted his son to avoid back problems. The oldest of six children, he was home-schooled by his mother, Sarah, from kindergarten through high school.

How he got started:

A natural right-hander, Brunnig honed his lefty skills at age 6 with help from his father, John, who's a chiropractor. "He didn't want me to overly develop my body muscles on one side,"
Brunnig said.

Worried about his son’s back and the strain that comes with exerting such force with just one arm, John Brunnig insisted that young Matt learn to throw both ways, guaranteeing balance in the development of the muscles on both his right and left sides.

John said he worked on his son's switch-pitching for two reasons: to keep Matt's body in as perfect balance as possible; and because he would be coveted by major-league teams.

Throwing the Heat

At Harvard, he threw 87-90 miles per hour from the right side and about 85 from the left.

“Right handed, I’m more of a power pitcher,” Brunnig says. “As of now, I’m a fastball pitcher—fastball, slider, forkball or splitter and a little curve. Left handed, I use more movement…[and] try to spot it a little more.” (The Harvard Crimson)

He never threw with both arms in the same game, but he was 2 starters in one. He threw each start entirely with the same arm, and on a different start on a different day he would use a different arm. Maybe that was because he didn't use a 6 fingered glove. He used separate gloves for each hand, and never switched sides in the middle of a game.

Ivy League vs Major League

"Brunnig has the frame for pro ball. But he also has college entrance test scores that ironically are so high they could cost him a big-money signing bonus out of high school. He scored 1,410 on the SAT and 33 on the ACT and recently was accepted to Harvard with almost a full academic and need-based scholarship. Some teams have told him he could go as high as the fourth or fifth round, others say 15th and down. "

Career Notes:

6-foot-7 switch-pitcher Matt Brunnig went 4-3 with a 3.55 earned-run average for Harvard during his freshman season in 2003.

"What are the cost/benefits of ambidextrous baseball pitching at the college level?" - Answer from Matt Brunnig , ambidextrous pitcher at Harvard
Pros:It's a cool talent to have and it will help market your name.It's great to have another hand to turn to if you can play outfield.Lefty's have better curveballs...even when they're also righties. Cons:It is a lot more work, if you aren't willing to put the time in don't try it.It is more stress on the back, sometimes my back got sore after pitching lefty.Getting a soft throw touch with the alternate hand is difficult, I would try to actively develop that if I could do it again. 

Ambidextrous Harvard Pitcher Brunnig a Double Threat to Hitters ...

Pretty Fly for a Shy Guy - The Harvard Crimson
Switch-pitcher seeks team glory while avoiding the spotlight

Injuries Leave Baseball With Arms Tied Behind Back - The Harvard Crimson, Feb 25, 2004

No gimmick: Floridian is two pitchers in one - St. Petersburg Times

A real double threat: Harvard's Brunnig is two good - The Milford Daily News

Matt Brunnig Statistics (2003-2006) - The Baseball Cube
11-9 record with a 4.83 ERA over 42 games pitched

High School Stats: 15-3 for Warner Christian

Matt Brunnig, the ambidextrous pitcher who was 15-3 for Warner Christian, was at one point hopeful of being drafted in the first 10 rounds, but interest waned as Brunnig dealt with soreness in his right arm. He now appears to be ticketed for Harvard and college ball.
"I threw a lot of innings this year [98 right-handed], and I just didn't have the velocity the last few starts," Brunnig said Monday after missing a scheduled start for the Central Florida Renegades summer team.

Baseball NotebookBy Chase Goodbread, May 14, 2002

Daytona Beach Warner Christian pitcher Matt Brunnig, who threw last night against St. Petersburg Northside Christian in a Class A semifinal, can pitch effectively with either arm.

The 6-foot-6 Brunnig has approached 90 mph with his right-handed fastball, and regularly reaches the low 80s with his fastball from the left side.

He leads Central Florida in wins (12) and strikeouts (123), is unbeaten with his right arm (10-0), and carries a 2.45 ERA with his left arm.

Former Twins pitcher Frank Viola, now a coach at Orlando Lake Highland Prep, told the Orlando Sentinel: "The interesting thing is going to be seeing which arm he makes his money with."

Brunnig has been projected to go in the top 20 rounds of the Major League Baseball draft next month.


1932 New York Yankees, No. 4 Lou Gehrig » Oldtime Baseball Game

Oldtime Game History - Fittingly, this uniform was first worn in the 1998 Game by a man who was himself a former New York Yankee, Medford native Mike Pagliarulo. He wore our Mickey Mantle home Yankees uniform in 1999, and returned to the Lou Gehrig road uniform in 2000. This uniform was also featured prominently in the 2003 Game, as it was worn by Matt Bruning, an ambidextrous pitcher from Harvard University. Pitching right-handed, he worked one shutout inning for the home team in the Mickey Mantle uniform, and then switched into the Lou Gehrig uniform and submitted a shutout inning from the left side. 


Baseball in Europe


June 10, 2008,
Trying to make a push towards the playoffs the Namur Angels have added outfielder/pitcher Matt Brunnig to help out for a month. He went 2-for-4 in his debut last Saturday and is expected to join the bullpen next weekend. He spent four seasons at Harvard University (NCAA Division I) between 2003 and 2006. He had a 12-9 record with an ERA of 4.78 in 43 games (18 starts). He struck out 93 batters in 133 2/3 innings, walking 44.
Brunnig is an ambidextrous pitcher and can throw from either the left or the right side. Even though he brought both gloves with him he is likely only going to pitch right-handed in regular games. He played together with Trey Hendricks in Harvard, who is currently playing in the German Baseball-Bundesliga for the Saarlouis Hornets.


Best Batter: Matt Brunnig. Usually known for his pitching abilities as a switch pitcher, the Harvard graduate had quite an impact on the Namur team, although he didn’t play that much. He went 9-for-22 with two triples, three doubles, five runs and six RBI.
Read more

Namur Angels Baseball | Facebook

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