I’ve remarked in the past on how nobody is much concerned against major league baseball’s bigotry against left-handed catchers, even though there is no agreed upon rationalization for why no lefthander has caught in the big leagues since the 1980s.
Today the New York Yankees drafted in the first round (23rd pick overall) a high school kid named Anthony Seigler who is totally ambidextrous. From Bleacher Report:
Meet Anthony Seigler, the Switch-Hitting, Switch-Pitching MLB Draft Gem
MAY 29, 2018
The most interesting player in the MLB draft this June is a switch-hitting catcher.
And a right-handed pitcher. And a left-handed pitcher. A starter. And a closer. An infielder. And, oh yes, an outfielder.
He’s Anthony Seigler, an 18-year-old high school senior from Cartersville, Georgia, and trust me, you’ve never seen anyone quite like him. He’s Shohei Ohtani, if Ohtani turned around and started throwing left-handed too.
Ohtani is the 6’4″ Japanese ballplayer who is both pitching and batting as a designated hitter for the California Angels this season. He’s 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA as a starting pitcher (usually once per week) and is hitting .283 with six homers as a DH (usually during the middle of the week when not pitching). Babe Ruth did about the same 100 years ago in 1918, going 13-7 as a pitcher and leading the league with 11 home runs.
He’s the switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, if Venditte started a game behind the plate and ended it on the mound.
Venditte is a switch pitcher with LA Dodgers this season.
He’s the guy who could play all nine positions in one game, except he could do it one day throwing right-handed and the next day throwing left-handed.
“It’s a unique toolset,” as one Georgia-based scout said. “You just don’t see it.” …
He’s likely to be drafted as a catcher, which would also be his position if he opts not to sign and honors a commitment to the University of Florida. …
Believe it or not, switch-pitching came naturally for Seigler. It’s easier than switch-hitting, he said, even though there are plenty of switch-hitters in the big leagues and no switch-pitchers besides Venditte, who has appeared in 44 major league games since 2015.
It was as simple as picking up a ball and throwing it, sometimes with his right hand, sometimes with his left. …
I’ve heard that the very best fielders, such as Ozzie Smith, tend to be ambidextrous but I could be wrong about that.
He throws right-handed when he’s behind the plate or in the infield. He throws a football left-handed but shoots a basketball left-handed (he didn’t play either sport in high school). But he writes right-handed.
As for pitching, that depends.
He has more movement left-handed, throwing in the mid-80s. He has more power right-handed, when he’ll sometimes top 90 mph.
When he starts a game, he throws left-handed. When he comes in as a closer, he goes for the power and throws right-handed.
One theory about why there are no left-handed catchers is because, it is widely believed, left-handers throws tend to curve more than right-handers throws. Hardthrowing left handed catchers might get converted into pitchers because movement on the ball is good in a pitcher and bad in a catcher, who is better off throwing to second in a straight line.