Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pat Venditte - Minor League Switch Pitcher

Pat Venditte was drafted twice as an ambidextrous pitcher by the New York Yankees.

Patrick Michael Venditte Jr.

Born: June 30, 1985 in Omaha, NE
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Switch pitcher Pat Venditte plays in the minor league 
High School Team: Omaha Central High School, Nebraska
College: Walk-on pitcher for Creighton University in 2005
MLB: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 20th round in 2008

Positions: RHP / LHP  (Switch Pitcher)
Venditte's custom 6-finger ambidextrous glove
Bats: Right (former switch hitter)
Throws: Both, ambidextrous
    Right hand dominant

Velocity: 92-94 mph RHP; 85-87 mph LHP

College Velocity: 85 mph RHP; 80 mph LHP

Glove: Venditte uses a custom made six-fingered glove. The glove has two thumbs and a wide, pie-shaped pocket. Pat Venditte, Sr. ordered a custom Mizuno glove made in Japan for his son, costing $600!

Pat Venditte is an ambidextrous pitcher in the Yankees minor league organization. Venditte is the famous switch pitcher that everyone hears about in the news. He has excellent control throwing with either arm, and knows how to pitch -- resulting in a low ERA in the minor league.

Venditte typically throws with the hand needed to gain the platoon advantage. 

Venditte's minor league switch pitching led to a new rule for ambidextrous pitchers

How he got started:

Pat Venditte started throwing with both hands at 3-years-old. He was taught by his dad to switch pitch.

Venditte worked very hard to become a switch pitcher. He was home schooled and practiced with his dad up to four times a day. Sometimes he stayed up to midnight playing baseball, in his own lighted batting cage, when he was a young kid.

He does not have overpowering stuff.

Right-handed: throws up to 94 mph, using a fastball, curveball, and occasional changeup.

Left-handed: throws up to 87 mph, using mostly sliders. Pat is a natural right-handed thrower who uses a custom glove that he can switch to either hand when pitching. He throws right-handed to righties and left-handed to lefties.

Players call him Octopus

ESPN feature on Pat Venditte. Called the "Freak" and "Octopus" by players. Now a minor leaguer for the Charleston RiverDogs, he is a New York Yankees prospect. Had 20 saves as a minor leaguer, 77 strikes outs, only 7 walks, and a 1.62 ERA. Watch the ESPN video

Venditte warming up LH and RH before pitching in a game for the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
As the Woodchucks' closer, he had a 4-1 record, 9 saves, a 1.76 ERA, and a .154 opponents' batting average

Pat Venditte's Pro Baseball Career

2014 - Trenton Thunder - AA 
Venditte is listed on the pitching roster for the Trenton Thunder (April 1, 2014)

2013Trenton Thunder - AA 
Venditte was on the DL following shoulder surgery in 2012. After rehab, he returned to pitch for the Trenton Thunder in August 2013.
3.97 ERA in 8 games with a 1-2 record

2012 - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre - AAA 
On the DL - A torn labrum in his right arm put him on the disabled list in early 2012.
2.77 ERA in 7 games with a 1-1 record

2011Trenton Thunder - AA 
Venditte was also a relief pitcher for the Advanced Class-A Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League. Drafted by the NY Yankees in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft out of Creighton University.
3.40 ERA in 51 games with a 3-7 record

Pat Venditte In the News

BBD Interview with Pat Venditte | Bronx Baseball Dailey, April 25, 2012

Pitching for the Wisconsin Woodchucks - using a custom six-finger ambidextrous glove made by Louiville Slugger.

Ambidextrous Creighton pitcher comes at you from all angles 5/31/2007

Pro Switch Pitchers

Greg Harris was the only "switch-pitcher" in major-league baseball's modern era



  1. According to the Yankees Spring Training chatter, Pat will get some pitching time tomorrow, March 13, 2014. Most of the roster is headed to Panama, making some room for minor league prospects in Tampa. (BTW, the Pat Venditte Fan Club link has been dead for a while and the Pat Venditte Facebook page has had no activity for 3 years.)

  2. The news is that Pat is headed back to the Double-A Trenton Thunder for 2014. ( . He's not the oldest pitcher on the team (by one month), but it's increasingly clear that he's not big league caliber. I think it's a bigger disappointment to his fans than to him, since he's always been realistic. It's a great big shame that a guy who has changed baseball forever doesn't get a major league moment to show what it really means to be a versatile pitcher. Heck, he'd happily pitch for what Tanaka's full-time interpreter is getting paid.

    I'm an old guy (e.g. lost a Mickey Mantle flipping baseball cards in the day) who's been working on my opposite-side throwing for a while now. (In winter, I practice by throwing a tennis ball straight up--it helps with the wrist motion and the finger roll-off which seems to be the the trickiest part of switch pitching. I've been surprised to discover the destructive ability of fuzzy, light tennis balls, but I now have a complete variety of adhesives in the house.) I'll call myself a switch pitcher as soon as I can throw 60 1/2 feet.

    It's some comfort to me that Pat will be a valuable coach--both pitching and batting. Nobody understands the same-sided pitching advantage the way he does. He knows how to exploit it and he knows when it's more important to watch the base runner than to make the batter crane his neck or slap at an outsiding curve.

    I think it's a safe prediction that the World Series winner in 10 years, in 2024, will have a switch pitching reliever. There's no reason why the best pitchers in the world shouldn't use both arms to gain advantage over the batters. It won't be with the Yankees, but I hope some MLB team lets Pat show us how pitching has been changed forever.