A new sizzle reel from Bleacher Report shows Ryan Perez, a 12th-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in last year’s draft, hitting 95 miles per hour with both arms.
The ambidextrous pitcher has spent the first two years of his minor league career with the Low-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers. In 23 innings this season, Perez has allowed 13 earned runs and issued 10 walks while striking out 14 batters.
Switch-pitchers have rarely found success in the major leagues, with the most recent (and only active) being Pat Venditte, who debuted with the Oakland Athletics in 2015 and threw 8.2 innings for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016. To call his career a success this early is a bit of stretch, however — he has a 4.58 career earned run average over 37.1 innings.
When, or if, Perez reaches the majors, he will be subject to the "Venditte Rule," which was a special rule developed specifically for Pat Venditte. It dictates that switch-pitchers must declare which arm they are going to throw with until the upcoming batter is retired to prevent them from switch mid at-bat. They can still switch hands in-between batters as much as they like, however.
It’s still early to know what kind of pitcher Perez will be at the major-league level, but he does have one thing going for him that Venditte doesn’t: velocity. As the Bleacher Report video shows, Perez can hit 95 mph with his left hand and 97 mph with his right. According to Brook’s Baseball, Venditte’s four-seamer is lucky to reach 85 mph.
No matter what the future holds for Perez, if you get a chance to see a Scrappers game (or whatever team he is on as he moves up the organization) you should probably do it. Not many baseball fans get to say they saw a professional pitcher switch hands between batters in person.