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#pounditMonday, June 24, 2024

Minor league pitcher draws attention for his ridiculous pitch

Ettore Giulianelli delivers a pitch

St. Louis Cardinals prospect Ettore Guilianelli has a long way to go before reaching the majors, but it is quite possible that he throws the filthiest pitch in all of baseball.

Giulianelli, who is currently a reliever for Single-A Palm Beach in the Florida State League, went viral for a ridiculous pitch he threw on Saturday. The right-hander came on to pitch with Palm Beach trailing 7-1 in the sixth inning of their game against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. With a 0-1 count against Lakeland’s Jose De La Cruz, Guilianelli threw a 74-mph breaking ball that had mind-boggling movement on it.

The pitch drew a great deal of attention for good reason:

Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com shared some of the insane stats about the pitch. Giulianelli’s breaking ball, which was essentially a screwball, dropped 58 inches, moved 8 inches to Giulianelli’s pitching arm side, and had a spin rate of 2,192 rpm. Since pitch tracking began in MLB in 2008, only 27 total pitches have met all of those criteria. Giulianelli has thrown five such pitches in his 12 2/3 innings this season.

Dykstra also noted that three knuckleballers — Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey and Steven Wright — lead MLB in pitches thrown with 55-plus inches of drop and 8-plus inches of armside movement since 2008. Giulianelli has somehow been getting similar movement on a screwball that is thrown with bite.

Giulianelli has a 4.26 ERA with 21 strikeouts but a whopping 19 walks through 12 2/3 innings this season. If he could ever put it all together, that screwball would be deadly at any level of baseball.

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