Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chances of a switch pitcher playing in college

What are the chances of a switch pitcher playing college baseball?

Pat Venditte - Switch Pitching for Creighton University
The chances are very good for a switch pitcher to play in college. Most ambidextrous pitchers attend D1 universities.

But since ambidextrous athletes are versatile baseball players and typically good hitters ... they are more likely to field a position, than to pitch in college.

College Bound Student-Athletes - 

Ambidextrous pitchers are usually very good students and extremely hard workers, so the majority go on to attend college – on academic scholarships.

Most of the starting high school switch pitchers have the command and velocity needed to play baseball  in college at some level. They also have the positive attitude, work ethic, coachability, and character that college coaches value.

Be Proactive and Contact Coaches

However, colleges coaches aren't spending their valuable time recruiting switch pitchers, so players must be proactive and contact coaches where they want to play and where there is a good academic fit. Remember, the most important thing is to get a good college education.

The Numbers - 

Switch pitchers are very rare. 
Each year there are only two to eight high school seniors who are switch pitchers.

Over the past decade,  >70% of the eligible high school switch pitchers have gone on to play baseball in college each year.

This rate is about 10x higher than the average ...

"About five in 75, or about 6.8 percent, of high school senior boys interscholastic baseball players will go on to play men's baseball at a NCAA member institution." - NCAA.org

Recent College Recruits

In 2015, 4-of-6 switch pitchers signed a letter of intent to play college baseball. That's 67% of the eligible high school switch pitchers who will go one to play in college.

Two of the best ambidextrous pitchers made other plans. One three-sport athlete was called to serve a mission in Cambodia. Another student-athlete received an academic scholarship to study computer science at a university without a baseball program.

Where they play in college

Some ambidextrous players start out playing in junior college, while others play at small four-year colleges; but the majority of switch pitchers are recruited to play Division I baseball.

Where did Venditte play college ball?
Pat Venditte, switch pitched for Creighton University (Division I). He was drafted twice by the New York Yankees and currently pitches in the minor league for the Athletics organization.  

 Ambi pitchers in the Ivy League? 
Two switch pitchers played baseball for Harvard University.

Do any switch pitchers get a chance pitch in college?

Yes, a few ambidextrous pitchers got a chance to pitch in college games.

Alex Trautner is an ambidextrous pitcher at Creighton University in Omaha.

Aubrey McCarty is a switch pitcher for Vanderbilt University, one of the top programs in the country.

Marcus Garcia is a switch pitcher from California who plays for Sierra College.

Ryan Perez, a switch pitcher from Illinois, throws both ways for Judson University. 
In 2014, Perez was an MVP in the Cape Cod League. In 2014, he threw 91 mph with both arms in a college game.

Pat Venditte was a successful relief pitcher for Creighton University.

Ambidextrous throwers who can switch hit

Some ambidextrous players are recruited to field a position - depending their fielding and hitting skills. It turns out that many switch pitchers are very good hitters.

About half of the ambidextrous pitchers are also switch hitters!

Aubrey McCarty, a 6' 3" switch pitcher and switch hitter from Georgia, was drafted by the SF Giants in 2013, but he decided to attend Vanderbilt University to get a good education and play college baseball.

Switch Pitchers in the MLB Draft

The most talented switch pitchers are drafted – about one a year. But they usually get drafted for their  fielding skills and ability to hit left-handed.

Drew Vettleson, a top-ranked high school player from Washington, was recruited to play Pac12 baseball with Oregon State, but was drafted in the supplemental first round. Vettleson decided to pursue  his dream of playing professional baseball and is now playing outfield for the Washington Nationals in the minor league.

Check out the List of Switch Pitchers >>

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