Bats Right, Throws Left

A couple weeks back, myself and Golden Arm were talking about the idea of the player who bats right handed but throws left handed. We figured it can't be that magical and must be common place right? Not so much. With the St. Louis Cardinals in town last week, they have a player Ryan Ludwick who does just that, so I decided to scan The Blue Jays major and minor league rosters to find just how rare it is. For the sake of argument, I will include position players and pitchers. Here's the tally:

Las Vegas 51's: 0 position players, 2 pitchers: Brad Mills and Sean Henn

New Hampshire Fisher Cats: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

Dunedin Blue Jays: 0 position players, 1 pitcher: Evan Crawford

Lansing Lugnuts: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

Auburn Doubledays: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

GCL Blue Jays: 0 position players, 0 pitchers.

DSL Blue Jays: 0 position players, 1 pitcher: Ronald Manchego.

The Jays have a whopping 4 players in our system who bat right handed and throw left handed and each of them are pitchers.

So how does history treat these misfits? Since 1871 there have been 57 players who have made the majors playing this way. Here are a couple of names who have excelled at the Major League Level:

Cody Ross - OF - Florida Marlins: 2003-Present
Ryan Ludwik - OF - St. Louis Cardinals: 2002-Present
Mark Carreon - OF - NY Mets, Detroit Tigers, San Fran Giants, Cleveland Indians: 1987-1996
Hick Carpenter - 3B - St. Louis Browns: 1879-1892
Jonny Cooney - CF, P, 1B - Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees: 1921-1944
Rube Bressler - LF, 1B, P - Philadelphia A's, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Robins: 1914-1932
Cleon Jones - OF - New York Mets, Chicago White Sox: 1963-1976
Hal Chase - 1B - Chicago White Sox: 1905-1919 (Chase was kicked out of baseball for gambling)
Jimmy Ryan - OF - Chicago White Stockings, Washington Senators: 1885-1903
Ricky Henderson - OF - Oakland A's, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays: 1979-2003

Other notables include Jason Lane and Doug Ault, so that means that out of the 57 players all time, 3 have worn the Blue Jays on their chest.


  1. Lets say that the players playing this way have an extra Je-ne-sais-quoi. For some, I would agree, but at the moment Evan Crawford should be on a list of his own. I've seen highlights of his play, and at this moment I am not sure what to think. I know stats mean nothing for a bullpen, but yesterday's game was pretty horrific. I do understand everyone has their days, but, 1.0IP 3H 4ER 2BB 1K with a current ERA of 36.00? Ouch.

  2. Wasn't shannon stewart another?

  3. Negative on Shannon Stewart. He threw right. Check it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon_Stewart_%28baseball%29.

    April, ERA of 36??? Wow wow wee wow.

  4. April,
    If it's any help, our boy Jesse watched Evan pitch for half a season and said that he has a Major League ready curveball, right now.
    He just got promoted a level. Give him some time.

    Stewart threw with his right arm.

    Rain Delay and I honestly couldn't come up with any names other than Ricky Henderson. I figured there was some left handed, right handed hitting first basemen out there but.....apparently not.
    Crazy thing considering how many right handed throwers hit left.

  5. Yes, Evan's curve is good -- but his two-seam fastball has regressed and that's a problem right now. Hopefully he can figure things out because he's a good guy with a good ceiling.

    This is another testament to Rickey's craziness. Why in the world if you have that kind of speed do you bat from the right side? It's a clear advantage as a hitter to bat lefty, even if he throws righty. (Just ask Ichiro or Wade Boggs.)