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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Top 10 Players for 2011 - No. 10: Pat Venditte

Every Wednesday, Minor Matters will unveil its top 10 Thunder players to watch next season. Considering that the Tampa Yankees took home the Florida State League crown in 2010, there's no reason to believe that the upcoming season will have a shortage of talent around the diamond.

No. 10 - Pat Venditte

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.

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