Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Louden Conte - shortstop and switch pitcher

California High School (Class of 2016)
Coal Center, PA

Ht/Wt: 6ft, 180
Primary Position: Shortstop
Secondary Position: Pitcher
Throws: Both (primarily right-handed)
Bats: Right

Gloves: uses two different gloves for pitching

Louden Conte is a starting shortstop who has the ability to pitch both ways - lefty and righty. As a typical middle infielder, he is naturally right-handed.

How he got starter throwing with both arms ...

Conte's attempt at ambidextrous pitching began four years ago, after he had surgery on his right shoulder. He started by tossing a tennis ball off a wall with his left hand, then used a rubber baseball to play catch with his father, Cal (Pa.) University baseball coach Mike Conte. And he pitched a whiffle ball to his younger brother, Payton. (triblive.com)

Class A baseball preview: Woodburn next pitcher up at Cal

By Lance Lysowski, observer-reporter.com, 24 March 2015

Junior Louden Conte, who batted .507 with 26 RBI, 14 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .621 last spring, is naturally ambidextrous – he can throw either right-handed or left-handed. Conte’s fastball reaches the low 80s using his right arm and low 70s using his left.

Conte’s work on the mound might be limited though since he is a tremendous defensive player at shortstop, committing only three errors in 21 games last season. Read More

Conte pitches left-handed, right-handed as Cal wins at West Greene

Observer Reporter, 27 April 2015

• Louden Conte is not your normal pitcher.

The California junior is ambidextrous, and against West Greene in Section 1-A game Conte pitched both left-handed and right-handed. It worked well as Conte pitched a three-hitter with seven strikeouts and California remained undefeated in the section with a 13-1 victory over host West Greene.

Gorman: Not all right for this lefty

By Kevin Gorman
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lefty Louden Conte struck out a pair of left-handed hitters before Nick Damico signaled for right-handed relief.

The California coach called a timeout and brought a mitt out for his trip to the mound.

So Conte could change.

The 6-foot, 180-pound junior then scored another strikeout to complete an incredible feat: Conte pitched with both hands in the fifth and final inning of a 13-1 Section 1-A victory Monday at West Greene.

In his first pitching appearance this season, Conte tossed a three-hitter and struck out seven while pitching 4 1⁄3 innings righty and 2⁄3 lefty.

Call him a switch-pitcher.

“I've been working hard at it. It was fun to finally get out there on the mound,” Conte said. “At first, a lot of people didn't realize that I actually turned around and went lefty.”

Read more

Cal top Serra to return to WPIAL title game

By Lance Lysowski, observer-reporter.com, 20 May 2015

“It’s incredible. It’s what we’ve been working for all year, and it’s what we expected coming in here today,” California junior Louden Conte said.
Damico had to make several defensive switches, but turned to Conte, a highly regarded shortstop, in relief. The move paid off when Conte ended the inning with a fly out to center field. A runner reached first against him in the top of the seventh on an error, but Conte used his fastball and slider to retire three of the next four, sending the Trojans back to the championship game.

The junior, who is ambidextrous, threw right-handed to four righties, and when a lefty stepped to the plate with two outs in the seventh, Conte looked over to Damico to see if he could throw left-handed.

Damico did not want to risk anything and Conte ended the game with an inside breaking ball.

“I felt great today. Whenever you get into these close games, all of that adrenaline is running right through you,” Conte said. “I just took a deep breath after every pitch and focused on every pitch. I did take a second look at the dugout. I saw Coach Damico standing close, but I thought I’d just stick with the righty.”

Comment: For most ambidextrous pitchers, it's best to stick with the same arm each inning in order to stay in a rhythm and command the strike zone. Only experienced switch pitchers have the skills and mindset needed to switch between batters in playoff games.

Louden Conte | MaxPreps

Louden Conte - Prep Baseball Report > Pennsylvania

Mike Conte, Head Baseball Coach, calu.edu

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 >>

Friday, April 24, 2015

Catcher Connor Clark can Switch-Hit and Switch-Pitch

Connor Clark
Lubbock HS – Lubbock, TX (2016)
Connor Clark (Photo: Baseball Factory)

Postions: Catcher, RHP/LHP
Throws: Both 
Bats: Both

Clark is primarily a right-handed catcher, who has the ability to throw with both arms. He is athletic with a good pop time.

Connor Clark Switch-Hits and Switch-Pitches in Northwest Texas

Andy Ferguson, April 1, 2015
Connor Clark did a little bit of everything on Sunday March 15 at Wayland Baptist University in Planview, TX — as the Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout tour rolled through Northwest Texas, with a stop in the Lubbock area.
As if it weren’t enough to be a switch-hitting catcher, he also jumped on the mound and threw pitches as both a right and left-hander. As a position player, his tools were solid to above-average pretty much across the board. 
His tools fell off when he got on the mound, especially left-handed, but it was impressive nonetheless to see a switch-pitcher (I’m not really sure that’s exactly what you call it, but it sounds good enough to me).
A 2016 graduate (Lubbock HS – Lubbock, TX), Clark posted a respectable 7.15 in the 60 yard dash, fell just short of nine feet in the broad jump at 8-foot-9, and posted release times between 2.03 and 2.20.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wil LaFollette ambidextrous 8th grader

Ambidextrous eighth-grader Wil LaFollette turning heads as a switch pitcher for Cornerstone

By Jeff Sentell | jsentell@al.com
on April 23, 2015

Wil LaFollette raised eyebrows when he joined the Cornerstone Christian varsity baseball team this season. The 13-year-old eighth-grader had enough stuff to eventually nail down the No. 4 pitcher’s role for the Alabama Independent Schools Association's Class A team.

But the whispers and conversations did not center on that.

“They heard and saw where Will had a six-fingered baseball glove,” Cornerstone Christian head baseball coach Tim Smith said. “Naturally everyone wanted to know if he really had six fingers."

It wasn’t that, but it fell in the ballpark of abnormalities in Abner Doubleday’s great game. LaFollette is a baseball unicorn who will take the mound and face hitters throwing with his left hand. Then he’ll switch pitch and throw with his right hand. He’ll throw three-quarters from the left side, but releases the ball more over the top with his natural right-handed motion.

Watch Will LaFollette throw both ways - in slow motion!

Uses an Akadema 6-finger glove with two thumbs.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Ambidextrous Pitcher Kazimer Nevulis 1935

Ambidextrous Pitcher Found 

Michigan State Coach Enthusiastic Over New York State Youth.

Shamokin News-Dispatch (Shamokin, PA) 7 Mar 1935

A rare oddity of baseball - an ambidextrous pitcher - has been uncovered at Michigan State College by Coach John Kobs, head mentor of the sport at the institution.

He is Kazimer Nevulis, a sophomore twirler form Amsterdam, N.Y., who aspires to become a fixture of the state mound staff during the forthcoming season.

And in the words of Coach Kobs: "He not only throws with both hands, but pitches with both."

The Amsterdam sophomore has a varied assortment, which he serves up from the right side, while his delivery from the port side is limited to a fast ball and curves. In his words: "I pitched better with the right."

While Nevulis is not the first pitcher to throw the ball up to the plate from both sides, Coach Kobs is inclined to believe his ability is more equally divided.

As a freshman he played the infield for the yearlings, but moving up to the varsity squad he believes he stands a better chance on the mound.

For the last two years he has confined his throwing to the right sides, but now is determined to return to his former style of serving them up from both sides -- which he did capably in semi-pro ball in New York State and in high school. He says it will take a couple of months to round the left arm into usual shape.

Read the article

Graduate of Michigan State
Born June 18, 1912, Mr. Nevulis attended local schools in Amsterdam, N.Y. and received his degree from Michigan State College where he was active in baseball and basketball. After college, he became a Junior High teacher.

Kazimer Nevulis lettered in baseball at Michigan State 1937 (source)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Alex Trautner News

Recent news about ambidextrous pitcher Alex Trautner from California. 
 Alexander Trautner

Alexander Trautner (2014)  Ambidextrous PItcher
Danville, California

RHP = 87 mph, LHP = 83 mph

College: Creighton University

Summer Team: Neptune Beach Pearl

New Bluejay pitcher brings back Venditte's versatility - Omaha.com

Check out Trautner's custom 6-finger Mizuno glove in Creighton colors!

Ambidextrous pitching videos

Alexander Trautner @ Stanford

Alexander Trautner @ Stanford All-Star Baseball Camp

Alexander Trautner - Danville Bulls 18u

Alex Trautner Chooses Creighton - HS Sports Daily
By: Trevor Hampton

Alexander Trautner, a 6-foot-3, 210 pound ambidextrous pitcher from San Ramon Valley High School has committed to the Creighton University Bluejays’ D1 baseball program out of Omaha, Nebraska.
Trautner had garnered interest from Kansas, Hawaii, and Utah Valley among other D1 baseball programs.  However, Creighton University had special interest in him because of his unique ambidextrous pitching ability. The school in Omaha had previous success with nationally recognized ambidextrous pitcher, Pat Venditte, drafted twice during college, now pitching with the New York Yankees’ AAA organization.
Read more

San Ramon Valley announces its college-bound athletes

By Matt Schwab
Monday, June 2nd, 2014

BASEBALL: Matt Winaker Stanford; Alex Barden Santa Clara; Matt Smithwick Santa Clara; Alex Trautner, Creighton; Nate Kanat, Chabot.


Trautner attended the USA NTIS in Cary, NC Aug 22-25, 2013 
He touched 86/87 mph pitching right-handed!

Check out Hoots Baseball travel team news

The HOOTS won the Ninth Annual 
18U State Championship

The HOOTS defeated the Playa Vista Orioles 3-2 in the semi final game with a game winning bottom of the 7th inning single from Marcus Wise to score Blake Hannah with the winning run.  Alex Trautner and Tyler Deason combined on the mound for the HOOTS.

Monday, July 22


Junior switch pitcher Alex Trautner threw a complete game shutout to lead the HOOTS to a  3-0 win in the 2013 Northern California Connie Mack State Championship.  

Trautner earlier this summer faced the SoCal Renegades in a game won by the HOOTS 5-4 and that experience proved helpful with the championship on the line. 
Read more


Alexander Trautner - Baseball - beRecruited

1.19 ERA, 16 K in 17.2 IP

Alexander Trautner, ambidextrous pitcher, Danville, CA


Thursday, April 16, 2015

James Touchton switch pitcher

BHP James Touchton (Photo: Helen Comer/Gannett Tennessee)
James Touchton

Central Magnet High School (Class of 2017)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 165 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Both (primarily right-handed)
Velocity: 82 mph (perfectgame.org 2016; 77 mph in 2015)

Glove: Custom 6-finger Mizuno Glove, with two thumb slots

5-1 record in 2015
32:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio

Primarily pitches right-handed in games. In fact, he only pitched one inning left-handed.


Central Magnet’s Touchton excels as switch pitcher

Tom Kreager, Gannett Tennessee | April 15, 2015

MURFREESBORO – Central Magnet sophomore pitcher James Touchton has always done a few things left-handed.

He wrote and threw frisbees as a southpaw. However, throwing a baseball and football were always reserved for his stronger right hand.

That, though, has changed in recent years.

Touchton, who has become the Tigers’ ace of the pitching staff this season, has become an ambidextrous pitcher.

“I just decided in third grade I wanted to be able to throw with both hands,” said Touchton, who uses a glove with two thumbs so he doesn’t need to swap out on the mound. “It was a bit awkward at first — probably not as much had I not already been somewhat split in what I did with my left hand.”

Touchton entered Wednesday’s doubleheader with Smith County garnering a 5-1 record on the mound. He has a 1.36 ERA with three complete games and two shutouts in 25 2/3 innings pitched. He’s struck out 32 batters and walked six.

He’s done all but an inning of it as a right-handed pitcher. Last week he threw an inning left-handed in a 24-0 win over York Institute.

Read more


James Touchton Baseball Profile | Perfect Game USA

MurfreesboroTN - Official Website

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Warm-up Exercises for Pitchers

Players focus on dynamic warm-up and stretching before they start throwing a baseball.

Switch Pitcher Workouts on YouTube >>

Dynamic Warm-Up Routine

To get the blood flowing, start with a jog then increase to running 

Warm-up focuses on groin, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and core, 2x 20 yards for each exercise
- skip forward / skip backward
- walking lunges
- side lunges, left / right
- hops
- carioca left / right
- hurdle kicks
- high knees
- move sideways
- shuffle step
- back peddle

Phillies Jimmy Rollins Dynamic Warmup Baseball Workout - video
Features some of the exercises mentioned above.

15 minute baseball dynamic Warmup

Stretching Routine
Static stretching is done in a team circle, with a different player leading each exercise. Focus on arms, legs and core.

- arm circles (small, medium and large circles; forward/backward - see video)
- arm stretch, crossed over chest
- arm overhead stretch with elbow bent 90 degrees
- leg stretch - cross legs, bend and touch toes
- quad stretch (standing on one foot)
- hurdler stretch
- rotate trunk,  left-and-right rotation
- shoulder twists (shoulders twist while hips stay still)
- palm and finger presses 

A great warm up routine for pitchers and position players to loosen up shoulders and elbows. From the National Pitching Association, www.nationalpitching.com 

Pitchers Throwing Routine
Players start on flat-ground with 5-10 each of the following:
- Step Behind Drill
- Cross Over Drill
- High Leg and Go
- Rocker Drill

  • This warmup is the most effective and productive way of warming up compared to the static stretching method.
  • Continuous movement which increases blood flow to muscles and increases core body temperature. Stationary stretches actually decreases body temperature.
  • Read more about the Dynamic Warm Up

Arm Care Videos >>

Baseball Dynamic Warmups>>

The Thrower's Ten (pdf)

The Thrower's Ten Program is designed to exercise the major muscles necessary for throwing.


Switch Pitcher Workouts on YouTube >>

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Control vs Command

Control = Throw Strikes
Throw hard with control – locating the pitch in the strike zone.

Top pitchers throw >60% strikes.

Command = Hit a Spot
Work on developing command – the ability to spot a pitch in a specific location.

Missing the barrel of the bat is a good strategy. This approach will lead to weak contact or strike outs.

It's import to consistently spot your fastball if you want to be a successful pitcher.