Monday, March 31, 2014

Chacho Madrigal - Ambidextrous Utility Player

Esau "Chacho" Madrigal
Chacho Madrigal pitching left-handed
Photo: Joselito Villero

Born: November 8, 1991
Hometown: Calexico, CA

High School: Calexico High School (2009)

College: Cal State East Bay 2014; 
Imperial Valley College (2010-2012)

Height: 6-2
Weight: 195
Positions: P, 1B, OF
Throws: Both

Velocity: 86 mph left-handed
Pitches: fastball, changeup, curve

Chacho Madrigal is an ambidextrous pitcher and utility player - who plays first base and outfield in college. He is majoring in History with the goal of becoming a history teacher. 

“My main goal is to one day come back to the Valley, coach and open up doors for kids playing baseball,” he said, “the same way my coaches have helped me and help them with their education.”


Imperial Valley College 
As a sophomore he posted a 3-2 record and 4.02 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. As a freshman, Madrigal was named to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference team as a utility player as he hit for .340 while going 3-6 overall as a pitcher.

Cal State East Bay Pioneers
#23 Chacho Madrigal - Bio


Pioneer Baseball Adds Impressive Class of Newcomers for 2014

Finally, a player who doesn't fit into any single category: Esau "Chacho" Madrigal. A legitimately ambidextrous pitcher who also plays first base and outfield, Chacho Madrigal brings tremendous versatility to East Bay. A three-time All-League selection at Calexico High School in Calexico, Calif., he went onto play two seasons at Imperial Valley College and earn first-team All-Conference honors both years. As a sophomore in 2012, he hit .351 with a .462 on-base percentage and 23 RBI. Madrigal also made nine starts on the mound, going 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. He was recruited to play at Division I San Diego State, but suffered an injury to his left elbow (his stronger arm) that cost him the 2013 season. The Pioneers hope to use Madrigal in multiple roles this year.

Madrigal still swinging despite setbacks
July 23, 2013 | By Mario Renteria, Imperial Valley Press

Calexico High 2009 graduate Esau “Chacho” Madrigal was about to live his dream of playing college baseball at San Diego State University last year before an injury left him contemplating leaving the sport for good.

The ambidextrous pitcher suffered an injury to his left elbow, his strongest throwing arm, which caused SDSU to eventually retract its partial-scholarship offer from Madrigal.

After a year of rest, Madrigal went back to SDSU hoping to get another shot, which he didn’t get and left him wondering if he should quit.

Pitcher battles to return to the mound
March 31, 2012 | By RYAN LEON | Sports Writer

When Calexico native Esau “Chacho” Madrigal was 5 years old he broke his right arm during baseball season, forcing him to sit and watch his friends play. That didn’t sit well with the boy who absolutely loved the sport of baseball.

With his love for the game and determination, and some help from a coach in Enrique Lechuga, Madrigal learned how to throw with his left hand and soon found himself back on the field playing the game he loved.

It was that determination that helped him get through a much bigger obstacle at the peak of his young career.

Read More

Madrigal throws gem for Arabs
February 22, 2012 | By TIM TUTTLE

Starter Chacho Madrigal pitched seven shutout innings to lead Imperial Valley College to an 8-2 victory over West Los Angeles in a nonconference baseball game Tuesday on the Arabs’ field.

Madrigal limited the Wildcats (2-3) to five scattered singles and didn’t allow a runner beyond first base. The left-hander struck out 11 and didn’t surrender a walk. After giving up a single to Hugo Rodriguez leading off the fourth inning, Madrigal picked him off.

IVC coach Jim Mecate removed the 6-foot-2, 195-pound sophomore because his pitch count had reached 91 and the Arabs had a 7-0 lead.

(ChachoMadrigal) on Twitter


Monday, March 17, 2014

Left-handed bullpen by switch pitcher Henry Knight

Switch pitcher Henry Knight throwing a bullpen left-handed using 6 pitch grips.
Fastball, 2-seamer, changeup, splitter, cutter, and curveball.

The glove signals make it easy for the viewer to know what pitch will be thrown.

Watch pitches in slow motion to see the movement of the ball.

Getting Results:
Henry Knight started out his junior season with a 10-pitch inning to close out a win – throwing 80% strikes left-handed. In a varsity game, he had two 5-pitch innings – one lefty and one righty.

Learn about switch pitcher Henry Knight >>

Location: K Center, Seattle, WA

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

All about Ambidextrous baseball gloves

Baseball Glove Options for Switch Pitchers
Looking for a glove for a switch pitcher?
Read about glove options for ambidextrous pitchers, based on age.

Many switch pitchers use two separate gloves - 11.5"-12" size - until they are in high school.

Ambidextrous baseball gloves >>

Do you want a custom six-finger glove like Pat Venditte?

Learn how to order a custom-made Mizuno Ambidextrous Glove.

Mizuno GMP1A Ambidextrous Glove $450+

Do you want an inexpensive ready-to-order six-finger glove?

A quality ambidextrous glove is available from Akadema (ABX-00: Ambidextrous, 12" model $120). My son uses the 12" model - the only option available. This is a stock leather glove, but you will not find these in any stores. Order online from Akadema or Amazon. They only produce about 100 ambi glove a year (made in China). You can have a smaller custom glove made by Akadema for around $200. Visit
Akadema Ambidextrous Glove $130


Monday, March 10, 2014

Baseball tryouts: Making a good first impression

Are you getting ready for a baseball tryout?

Here are some tips from select team coaches on making a good first impression.


- dress like a baseball player (baseball pants, jersey, cap, cleats)
- wear a shirt with your last name on the back
- show up 30 minutes early
- have a plan

Coaches are looking for skilled players, with a positive attitude - who are coachable

- introduce yourself to the coaches, and shake hands
- pay attention and look the coach in the eye
- have a positive attitude
- hustle everywhere - all the time

Bonus Points
- be a leader
- support your teammates
- play with lots of energy

Make a Lasting Impression
- focus on one pitch at a time
- play hard and make the routine plays
- help the coaches carry equipment
- volunteer to play any position
- show your passion for the game

- listen carefully - look the coach in the eye when they are speaking
- ask questions - coaches love to teach
- answer questions - share your knowledge of the game
- shake the coaches hand and thank them after the tryout
- let the coaches know why you want to join the team

Recommended Reading

Youth Baseball: Select Tryouts - Tip For Coaches, Clubs and Players by Stats Dad
Is your son or daughter looking for a new select baseball or softball team? Here are some tips to get your kid on the team he or she wants.

Baseball Tryout Secrets (pdf)

Baseball Tryouts -- How to Impress the Coach -- Steven Ellis

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pat Venditte - Creighton's ambidextrous pitcher

Historical news articles about switch pitcher Pat Venditte.

Pat Venditte
Born: June 30, 1985 (age 28), Omaha, NE
Weight: 180 lbs (82 kg)
Education: Omaha Central High School, Creighton University

Position: Switch Pitcher

Pat Venditte's pitching repertoire in college:

LHP: 78-81 mph; fastball, slider
   using a sidearm delivery

RHP: 88-91 mph; fastball, changeup, curveball
   using a 3/4 delivery
(velocity in 2007)

Venditte's strength is location, not power.

Pat Venditte was a walk-on pitcher for Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He had a 5-4 win-loss record during his high school senior year, earning him All-Nebraska second team honors.

Ambidextrous Glove:
Venditte used a Mizuno custom-made ambidextrous glove – ordered from Osaka Japan by his father –  with six fingers and two thumbs slots ($700).

At Creighton University he started using a Louisville custom-made ambi glove (see photo) in his sophomore year – since the university had a contract with Louisville.

As a pro pitcher, Venditte uses a Mizuno custom-made ambidextrous glove.

Switch pitcher: Creighton's ambidextrous Venditte is two pitchers in one

Friday, April 28, 2006
OMAHA, Neb. -- Pat Venditte Sr. came up with the idea when he was tossing a ball to his 3-year-old son in the backyard.
Wouldn't it be neat if he could get Pat Jr., a natural right-hander, to throw with both arms equally well?

Read more

Throwing Batters Curves Before Throwing a Pitch

Published: April 6, 2007

The pitch was nothing remarkable: Pat Venditte, Creighton University’s temporarily right-handed pitcher, threw a fastball past a Northern Iowa batter for a called strike three. It was his next windup that evinced this young pitcher’s uniqueness and, perhaps, professional future.
As his teammates whipped the ball around the infield, Venditte smoothly, unthinkingly, removed his custom glove from his left hand and slipped it on his right. Moments later he leaned back, threw a strike left-handed to the next batter, and finished the side in order.
Read more

Yankees draft Creighton switch-pitcher Venditte in 45th round
USA Today 6/8/2007.

OMAHA (AP) — Pat Venditte, the Creighton pitcher who has earned national acclaim for throwing both right-handed and left-handed, was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 45th round Friday.

Venditte had been projected to go anywhere from the 10th to 20th rounds, but he said he told scouts that he planned to return to Creighton for his senior season.

"I really never intended on signing this year, so I was surprised they took me," Venditte said. "I fully intend to be back at school."

Venditte ranked among the national leaders in appearances (38), ERA (1.88) and opponent batting average (.189). His 1.88 ERA was a single-season school record, and his career 2.61 ERA also is best in school history.

Read more

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

He has progressed from walk-on to all-conference pitcher and modest — but most interesting — major league draft prospect.
Creighton's Pat Venditte put together an 8-2 record, four saves, a 32 2/3-inning scoreless streak and a 1.83 ERA in 36 regular-season appearances.
Five of those he made as a right-hander. Three he made as a lefty. And in 28 games the 6-1, 190-pound junior threw from both sides. 

Pat Venditte Biography - Creighton University Bluejays

Pat Venditte #27 - Creighton University Bluejays

Player bio in senior year at Creighton, including college career stats (pdf)

Pat Venditte | Baseball 2008 | Senior CLASS Award


Ambidextrous Pitcher - YouTube
Uploaded on May 22, 2007
Creighton's Pat Venditte is listed as a right handed pitcher...and a
left handed pitcher.
Uploaded on Aug 20, 2009
Pat Venditte has been pitching with his left and right hand since the age of 3. Now a minor leaguer for the Charleston RiverDogs, he is a New York Yankees prospect. 
RHP: 93 mph; LHP: 86 mph

Sports Feature - Pat Venditte - SchoolTube

Oct 23, 2009
An interview with former Creighton University (Omaha, NE) pitcher Pat Venditte.

CU's Pat Venditte pitches with BOTH arms
Pat Venditte Northwoods League Allstar Game 2007. Warming up right- and left-handed. ...