Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ryan Perez - Switch Pitcher News 2014

News articles about Ryan Perez - a college ambidextrous pitcher at Judson University in Illinois.

Ryan Perez had a solid inning switch pitching in the Cape Cod All Star Game. Perez came away with a win and the MVP award!
Watch Perez strike out the side ...

Ryan Perez, Switch Pitcher - Cape Cod League
Ryan Perez - Hyannis Harbor Hawks
In the summer, Ryan Perez switch pitches for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the famous Cape Cod League. Perez made the roster for the Cape Cod League - All Star Game.

Perez throws 88-90 mph right-handed, and tops out at 94 mph left-handed.

“As a lefthander he’s definitely a prospect. As a righthander he can help you, but as a lefthander I feel like he is a definite pro prospect." - Chad Gassman, manager of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks

2014 Pitching Stats

Hyannis Harbor Hawks - Cape Cod League 

2.05 ERA. 0-1 record, 1 save 
26.1 IP, 38 SO, 13 BB, 30 H

source: Cape Cod Baseball League -
updated: July 23, 2014

Judson Eagles 2014  (42-19)

2.43 ERA, 12-3 record in 24 games (14 games started) 
111 IP, 92 SO, 45 BB, .231 BA


2015 MLB Draft Rankings, Way-Too-Early Edition

by Kiley McDaniel | FanGraphs - September 11, 2014 

Interesting Talents With Top 5 Round Upside
Ryan Perez, BHP, Judson (IL): This switch pitcher from a tiny college in Illinois isn’t just a sideshow. Perez is better from the left side, where he’s 90-93 with a plus slider at his best, and both pitches are a tick or two lower from the right side.  He has solid command, but some scouts only saw average stuff at times and wonder if he can go in the top 5 rounds since they haven’t seen a changeup. either.

Is ambidextrous Perez baseball's future?

Twenty-year-old college junior dazzles in Cape Cod League

An almost unbelievable, largely unexpected summer behind him, Ryan Perez couldn't help himself. When the ambidextrous 20-year-old considered his baseball future, and specifically how he might one day fit onto the pitching staff of a Major League team, he was bursting with excitement.

"It's really, sort of, endless possibilities," said Perez, who at the time was driving across the Midwest on his way home from the Cape Cod League. "I have starting experience. I have closing. I can switch [from left-handed to right-handed, or vice versa] during innings. I can start and close my own game. Anything you can think of, I've done it, and I've had success with it. It just depends on what they're looking for."

One awesome All-Star Game

by Ted Pappas | Aug 1, 2014

Perez, who was named the West MVP, pitched a perfect three up, three down frame, striking out the side from both sides of the rubber, clocking a 90-91 throw from the right, and a 93 from the left. He didn’t stop there, as the ambidextrous hurler also lobbed a nasty breaking slurve (sliding curve) that broke in on the hitter at 80 mph.
Perez came into the game with a pedestrian ERA of 2.05 across 26.1 innings pitched, albeit with an impressive 38 strikeouts. His electric inning not only clinched the MVP award, but also drew quite a bit of attention at the League’s biggest outing.

Pitcher can bring the heat with both hands

|Ryan Perez is naturally right-handed, but his father knew his son, an aspiring pitcher, would have an advantage if he learned how to throw with his left arm as well. Jim Axelrod reports. Read more 

Cape Cod League Focus: Ryan Perez

Down around the pond behind the Perez home in Hampshire, Ill., the youngest of the three naturally righthanded children didn’t have a choice.
Before Ryan, the only Perez son, turned 3 years old, the question of arm dominance—something most don’t think of as a question or even a choice but a predisposed conclusion—had been decided by his father, Juan.
“He never got a natural lefty,” Ryan, now 20, said of his dad. “So with me being the last hope he sort of made me into a lefty.”

On switch pitching in college:

"Just once during his sophomore season he threw with both arms in the same game, offering five innings from the right side at 88-90 before coming in lefthanded for the sixth and seventh frames, topping out at 94."

College Baseball: Right-handed and left-handed, Judson pitcher Ryan Perez has things covered

The Judson baseball roster doesn’t show right-handed pitcher or left-handed pitcher by Ryan Perez’s name.
It shows BHP — for both-handed pitcher.
The ambidextrous former Westminster Christian pitcher can honestly say tag is accurate, just like in high school. After going through Tommy John surgery on his right elbow before his senior year, Perez became a normal pitcher and pitched with only his left arm.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

When to start switch pitching

Some parents who have seen the video of Pat Venditte switch pitching, ask:

What is a good age for my son to start throwing with both arms?

7-9 years old is a good age to start throwing with both arms.

Many switch pitchers start throwing with both arms as a toddler, but they often have poor throwing mechanics when they get older. Poor throwing mechanics can lead to arm injury.

Players who learn to throw with good mechanics with the dominant arm, can have success throwing with the other arm with proper training. Learn throwing mechanics from a pitching coach first, then work on the throwing motion at home - doing mirror drills.

Does my child need to be ambidextrous to throw with both arms?

No. You don't need to be ambidextrous to begin throwing with either arm. This skill can be learned and most of the current switch pitchers are not ambidextrous - but right-handed.

Stick to throwing a baseball -
Teaching a child to write with both hands, or throw a football with both arms doesn't help a kid to pitch with both arms (I have tried this and it was a waste of time).

The Pat Venditte Effect

Minor league switch pitcher Pat Venditte, started training when he was a toddler, so some parents think this is the way to go. Start training them really young, work them hard and they will be successful. The training strategy worked for golfer Tiger Woods and seems to be working for Pat Venditte.

It's not necessary to start throwing with both arms as a toddler. Some parents discover that their 2-3 year-old can throw a ball with either arm, but this is very common and does not mean the child will be ambidextrous when older.

From my experience, I found that it is best for a young player to learn proper throwing mechanics before attempting to throw with the non-dominant arm. I think it is better for a kid to spend time learning to switch hit first.

Learn to switch hit first

Most of the switch pitchers could also switch hit when they were young. Switch hitters are fairly rare and valued in game situations, so I recommend that players start off with switch hitting before attempting switch throwing. The hitting practice helps with body coordination and hip rotation from both sides. Switch hitting is fun and it takes less work than switch pitching.

Only about 3% of all college players are switch hitters, but switch hitters are more common in the big leagues.

Sometimes, a right-hander finds that they hit better left-handed and lefty hitters often do well in youth baseball. Henry Knight is a natural right-hander who primarily hits left-handed in games (.500), but switches to hit right-handed when facing left-handed pitchers. He also can lay down a bunt from either side of the plate, which comes in handy during close games.

Switch pitcher, Drew Vettleson from Washington State, found that he hits better left-handed. He was drafted out of high school by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Switch pitchers are multi-sport athletes

College baseball coaches like to recruit multi-sport athletes  
- according coaches interviewed on Top Coach Podcast.

Ambidextrous pitchers are excellent students, and most enjoy playing two or three sports in high school. Some switch pitchers get recruited to play college baseball, and the best get drafted.

Switch pitchers who were multi-sport athletes:

Marcus Garcia (2013) - Roseville HS, California
Sierra College, Rocklin, California
Sports: basketball, baseball

Josh Hoekstra (2009) - DC Everest HS, Wisconsin
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Sports: football, basketball, baseball

Henry Knight (2015) - Franklin HS, Seattle, Washington
Sports: golf, basketball, baseball, tennis

Brock Mammoser (2016- Newton Community HS, Illinois
Sports: football, basketball, track, baseball

Andrew Pullin (2012) - Centralia HS, Washington
Minor League - Phillies (OF/2B Lakewood Blueclaws, Class A)
Sports: football, baseball

Alex Trautner (2014- San Ramon Valley HS, Danville, California
Creighton University, Omaha (Class of 2018)
Sports: basketball, baseball

Drew Vettleson (2010) - Central Kitsap HS, Washington
Minor League - Rays, Nationals (OF Harrisburg Senators, Class AA)
Sports: basketball, baseball


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Top Left-handed Pitchers

Learn about the Top Left-handed Pitchers in Baseball History ...

Top 20 Left-Handed Pitchers with the 
Most Wins in Baseball History

By Vin Getz,, May 13, 2014

These are the 20 left-handed pitchers with the most wins ever – a list that
starts off with some of the greatest pitchers of all time (regardless of handedness)
and finishes off with some respectable, though non-Hall of Famer, dudes, if you will.

Out of the 24 pitchers that have reached the 300-win plateau, only six were
lefties: all-time lefty leader and sixth all-time, 363-win, Warren Spahn,
long-time Philadelphia Phillies’ great Steve Carlton, Eddie Plank,
recent Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, Hall of Famer-to-be Randy Johnson
and the aptly-named Lefty Grove.
The 10 Best Left-Handed Pitchers of All Time
By Alex, Analyst  | Bleacher Report  May 19, 2010 Who's the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time? Ask that question and you'll get a variety of answers. 

Warren Spahn has the most wins, Randy Johnson the most strikeouts, and Lefty Grove the most ERA titles. Oh yeah, Sandy Koufax was pretty good too.  

Read more

The Ten Greatest Left-Handed Pitchers: 

A Legacy Worth Knowing

    1) Warren Spahn — (363–245; 3.09 ERA; ERA+ 118; 382 CG; 63 SHO; 5,243 IP; 8.3 H/9; 2,583 K/ 1,434 BB; K/BB ratio 1.80; 1.195 WHIP)

    Spahn’s 363 wins are the most ever by a left-hander, and the most wins in the live ball era since 1921. His 63 shutouts are also the most in the live ball era by any pitcher. His 2,583 strikeouts were 3rd all-time when he retired. Warren Spahn was inducted into the HOF in 1973. Read more

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Coach Tom Foley is Ambidextrous

Blue Jays Baseball Blog -
Mon Aug 25 2014 Posted by Richard Griffin, Baseball Columnist
Rays third base coach and master of the shift, Tom Foley is yet another player who took advantage of his time playing in Canada and loved the experience.  The Bullpen caught up with Foley before batting practice on Sunday morning at the Rogers Centre.

RICHARD GRIFFIN: It's a note in every press guide about you being an ambidextrous athlete in high school, throwing righthanded as an infielder and lefthanded as a quarterback. How'd that happen?
TOM FOLEY: I was born lefthanded. My dad played service ball in the military and I would pick up his glove when I was at the ballpark as a kid and I would just start throwing the ball righthanded. But everything else I did lefthanded, except I bowl righthanded too. But I did football and basketball lefthanded and just started throwing the baseball righthanded. That's the way I grew up. It's a little different. There are a couple of people that do it that I know. Steve Christmas was a lefthanded quarterback in Orlando and a righthanded catcher. But that's how it came about with me. Thank God, because I think I could have been a lefthanded pitcher is about all.

Read more


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kristofer Armstrong - Jupiter, Florida

Kristofer Armstrong 
Born: 7-7-1999
Kristofer Armstrong, 15U USA National Team

Jupiter, Florida
The Benjamin School, North Palm Beach, Florida 
Graduates in 2018

15U USA National Team (2014) 
Palm Beach Rebels 2011-2014

Height/Weight: 6-3, 185 lbs.
Positions: SS, RHP/LHP
Bats: Both
Throws: Both
Dominant hand: Right

Velocity: 87 MPH right-handed 
(Perfect Game USA 6/26/2014)

Kristofer Armstrong is a natural right hander who started throwing lefty when he was nine years old. His dad, a former major leaguer, does private lessons and Kristofer found an extra lefty glove lying around, so he started throwing left-handed. It seemed natural, so he  practiced throwing the ball against the wall and to catchers to practice his ambidextrous skills.

The Next Pat Venditte?

Meet the switch pitcher who could be the next Pat Venditte

By Jessica Kleinschmidt

Baseball family: His dad Jack pitched in the Major Leagues with the Reds, Indians, Marlins and Rangers. His older brother Jack Armstrong, Jr. was a RHP for Vanderbilt University.
The Florida commit and Palm Beach Gardens native says it was a bit of a freak accident how this came about.
"My dad gives private lessons, and he keeps extra gloves around," Armstrong tells "I threw against the wall one day [from the left side] and I don't know why I did it to be honest, maybe to preserve my arm."
The 17-year-old has even switched mid-game in high school. The first half of the game he threw lefty, then he swapped to right during the other half of the game. While some of the players on the opposing team were aware of Armstrong's abilities, the rest weren't sure what to think.

"They were speechless," Armstrong laughed.

Armstrong: Switch Pitcher
  • 08/07/14
  • 01:06
Meet Kristofer Armstrong, the switch pitching, switch hitting member of the 15U National Team.

Kristofer Armstrong Baseball Profile | Perfect Game USA (SS, RHP)

Wed August 13, 2014 

2018 Player Spotlight: Kristofer Armstrong – The Benjamin School. Armstrong has a long frame at 6-foot-3, 185 pound 1B/switch pitcher. A switch hitter, Armstrong has a relatively short swing despite long levers. Armstrong is an ambidextrous pitcher who naturally throws right-handed, but taught himself how to throw left handed. As a RHP, Armstrong sits in the low to mid 80s but can touch 87. His curveball is a good complimentary pitch and sits around 69 mph. As a LHP, his fastball is in the low 80's. Armstrong was selected on the Team USA Baseball 15U National Team. He recently defeated Venezuela pitching 6 innings and striking out 7.

Kristofer Armstrong - Prep Baseball Report (RHP, C)

7/24/14 - Armstrong has a long frame at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and hits with a crouched stance. He has a relatively short swing despite long levers. On the mound, he sat in the low 80s and showed occasional downhill plane. His curveball had decent shape and sat around 69 mph.

August 8, 2014

MAZATLAN, Mexico - The USA Baseball 15U National Team faced arguably its toughest test of the WBSC ‘AA' 15U World Cup Thursday night and passed with flying colors as it earned a tough 6-2 win over Venezuela to improve to 7-0. With the win, the U.S. is now the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament and controls its own destiny in its quest to play in Sunday's gold medal game.

Reliever Ryan Vilade (Frisco, Texas) came in for the final two innings to put the finishing touches on another outstanding night for Team USA pitching. Vilade only needed 20 pitches to motor through six outs as he allowed just one hit. His performance was only topped by the dandy performance that U.S. starter Kristofer Armstrong put together in front of a good crowd at Estadio Teodoro Mariscal. The Jupiter, Fla., native only threw 64 pitches in six innings of work, allowing one hit, no runs and no walks while striking out a game-high seven.

Talented teen bats, pitches from left and right
Thursday, May 16, 2013
By Bill Meredith

Predicting the future of a 13-year-oldis a gamble. Still, to say that Kristofer Armstrong could succeed at a high level in baseball qualifies as an understatement.
Take the bloodlines of the Jupiter resident, a seventh-grader at Independence Middle School. His 48-old father and coach, Jack Armstrong, was a 6-foot-5, 220-pound Major League Baseball pitcher for seven seasons.

Northwood's Oldham hits winning RBI in USA Baseball exhibition

Jul 22, 2014
Just 12 hours after finishing the first exhibition game of trials week Monday night, 40 15U players looking to make the USA Baseball national team trotted out on the diamond at Durham Bulls Athletic Park Tuesday morning for exhibition two. 

On the red side, Kristofer Armstrong (Jupiter, Fla.) and Jordon Adell (Louisville, Ky.) each hurled two no-hit innings with Armstrong nearly matching Vilade’s pitch count with just 20 pitches thrown to record six outs.

About Kristofer Armstrong's father

A personal trainer and private pitching instructor by trade, Jack Armstrong finished 40-65 as a big-league pitcher. Armstrong had a seven-year career as a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher for the Reds, Indians, Marlins and Rangers. 

Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1st round of the 1987 MLB amateur draft, Armstrong made his big-league debut on June 21, 1988. 

Jack Armstrong is a Red-Hot Longshot, LA Times, May 31, 1990