Top 10 Players for 2011 - No. 10: Pat Venditte
No. 10 - Pat Venditte
Bio: Unless you've been living under a rock since 2008, you know this name by now. For the rock-dwellers, here's a quick recap: Venditte is an ambidextrous pitcher for whom a special rule had to be created. A 25-year-old drafted out of Creighton two years ago, Venditte absolutely destroyed the competition in the Florida State League but struggled in limited exposure at Double-A.
2010 Season: With Tampa, Venditte went 4-1 and a 1.73 ERA in 41 games that spanned 72 2/3 innings. He struck out 85, walked just 14 and allowed two home runs. He appeared in just two games with Trenton during the regular year, a scoreless inning against Akron, and a bit of a blow-up against Akron. Most disappointingly, he never switched hands during an inning with the Thunder.
What's Next: Barring an absolute shock, Venditte will make a return engagement with the Thunder bullpen next year, where he faces a career litmus test of sorts. Doubters all along have said that his stuff and his two-handed trick won't play at the upper levels. If he succeeds against more advanced hitters, he'll have gone a long way toward proving he's a real prospect.