Ambidextrous is a big word that rarely gets used in Major League Baseball. Switch hitting is still a common occurrence, but it's incredibly rare to find a switch pitcher, let alone one who can throw hard enough from both sides in the pros.
MLB pitcher Pat Venditte became one of the more famous of these elusive unicorns and even prompted a rule that limits how often a pitcher can switch from hand to hand in an at-bat after a wacky and hilarious at-bat against a switch hitter.
Venditte wasn't the first switch pitcher to fire fastballs from either hand, and he won't be the last. That's because there's a pitcher named Jurrangelo Cijntje that plays for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The wunderkind from Hialeah, Florida first took social media by storm in high school. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2022 MLB Draft and is already looking like the future of baseball. Why? He has an extra arm if one ever gives out.
Jurrangelo Cijntje: The Viral "Switch Pitcher" For Mississippi State
96 from the right side.
92 from the left side.
Freshman switch-pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje is UNREAL ?
(h/t @SECbaseball) pic.twitter.com/2FQYPSlNZB
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) February 23, 2023
Look, it's rare for any pitcher to throw 96 MPH. It's rare for a left-hander to throw 92 MPH. But for one person to be able to do both? That's unheard of.
Cijntje made his first collegiate start Wednesday night for the Bulldogs and quickly made the internet drop its jaw. He was flawless, striking out seven ULM hitters over four innings, allowing just one hit. He threw righty against right-handed hitters and lefty against left-handed hitters. He's a matchup nightmare for opposing head coaches.
My favorite part of his team bio is the part where most people are either listed as a 'LHP' or a 'RHP.' His just says 'BHP.' Both-Handed Pitcher? I guess that's what we'll call him.
Even better is that he has a special-made glove that can be used on either hand. At one point during last night's game, you can see him switch it casually.
Cijntje isn't a new name, though. We've followed him since his high school days.
Cijntje's Rising Career and Viral Fame
He can really pitch with either hand depending on the batter ?
(via @mikegallagher24) pic.twitter.com/zBueO2XVAu
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 2, 2021
This kid pitches w/ both arms equally.... Never saw anything like this.....wow ? pic.twitter.com/u04o8SGVWe
— ????? 21Yr Old $cotch ?? (@PhredDibiase718) May 1, 2021
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Jurrangelo Cijntje went viral back in 2021.
As a pitcher for South Florida's Champagnat High School, he was captured warming up during a game against Jesuit in Tampa by photographer Mike Gallagher. When another user posted the video to Twitter, it began making its rounds on the website.
It was picked up by ESPN, Bleacher Report and MaxPreps, because it's not every day you see a teenager pitch with both arms so casually.
"You're not gonna believe this," Gallagher begins in the video.
"Watch this, folks. This is unbelievable. I've heard of this, but I've never seen it."
Cijntje begins his warm-up with few right-handed pitches. He then switches the specially made Wilson glove onto his right hand so he can fire in a few left-handed strikes. Even weirder is that his motion looks the same from both sides.
"I am so blown away by this," Gallagher says.
Cijntje was no scrub, either. In 2021, he was clocked at 92 MPH, according to his Perfect Game profile. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2022 MLB Draft, but instead headed to Starkville to play in the SEC. He's truly a one-of-a-kind talent.
In the 18th round, the @Brewers select Jurrangelo Cijntje, who throws 92 mph as a lefty. And 96 as a righty!
More on the Dutch switch-pitcher: https://t.co/9ys99wIrRN pic.twitter.com/HTcGHJpzym
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 19, 2022
Remember the guy we were talking about earlier, Pat Venditte? Yeah, his fastball lived in the high-80s range. Cijntje could be well on his way to an MLB career considering how valuable his versatility is.
This wasn't the first time Cijntje has gained fame for his ambidextrous body. Cijntje pitched for the Caribbean team in the 2016 Little League World Series. He started out as a southpaw before switching to his right hand and wowing a confused crowd in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Hopefully we see this talented kid in the bigs one day. He could be the future of baseball.
MORE: Adorable Little Leaguer Busts a Move Before His At-Bat
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