(Courtesy of Noah Addis/The Star-Ledger)
(The following is being syndicated from The Yankee Analysts)
** This is my other contribution to Prospect Week over at TYA from earlier today. Enjoy. **
One of the more intriguing members of the Yankee farm system is a player who hasn’t showed up on any of the top prospect lists I’ve seen over the past few months and likely never will. That player is Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous relief pitcher from Double-A Trenton. Venditte is conversation-worthy because his ability to pitch with both hands essentially makes him three pitchers in one. He can be the switch-pitcher who keeps hitters guessing, lessens the need for managers to play the matchup game with their bullpens, and inspires the creation of a new set of rules specific to ambidextrous pitchers; he can be a strictly right-handed reliever with a fastball-curveball pairing; he can be a lefty specialist with a sidearm fastball-slider combination. Yet Venditte was left unprotected by the Yankees in last year’s Rule 5 Draft, he was not invited to Spring Training, and he’s likely ticketed for a return trip to Trenton to start the 2012 season despite being 26 and coming of a solid year of 132.1 combined innings pitched for Trenton and in a Mexican winter league. This begs the question, is Venditte actually a prospect? Or is he destined for a career as organizational depth?