Baseball players only focus their efforts on one facet of the game, either hitting or pitching. Very rarely do we see a player who can hit as well as they can pitch or pitch as well as they can hit. Rick Ankiel is a novelty act because he was able to successfully transition from a decent pitcher to a starting batter. In Rick Ankiel's case, though, he was only a legitimate starting pitcher for one season in 2000. He made pitching starts in 1999 and 2001 but only a total of eleven in those two years combined. As a National League player, Ankiel was able to hone his batting skills just enough throughout his career because NL pitchers get to hit in every game they start. Unfortunately for American League pitchers, they rarely have the opportunity to shine in the batter's box because of the DH postion. Are there any legitimate pitchers who can truly hit?
One can make a case for a few current pitchers who could develop into a starting batter caliber player. Here is my list:
1. Micah Owings-The problem with Owings is he is not really a "respectable" starting pitcher to date.
Career ERA: 4.97, Career AB: 117, Career HR: 5, Career RBI: 21, Career BA: .316
2. CC Sabathia-The predicament with Sabathia is pitching in the American League. He ate up the spotlight in Milwaukee for a half season while batting like a regular professional hitter.
Career ERA: 3.68, Career AB: 88, Career HR: 3, Career RBI: 13, Career BA: .261
3. Yovani Gallardo-The trouble with Gallardo is his limited time in the big leagues. Did you see his three run shot against Randy Johnson on Wednesday? When he hit the ball, everyone knew the ball was gone the second it left his bat.
Career ERA: 2.70, Career AB: 51, Career HR: 3, Career RBI: 9, Career BA: .235
4. Carlos Zambrano-Zambrano is probably the most respected hitting pitcher who can legitimately win a game pitching and, at the same time, legitimately be a deep ball threat.
Career ERA: 3.47, Career AB: 497, Career HR: 16, Career RBI: 47, Career BA: .237
Who did I miss? Who do you think is currently the best hitting pitcher?