Costa: The rise of the accidental pitcher

From Brian Costa at the Wall Street Journal on October 5, 2015:

The prototypical American pitching prospect begins honing his fastball before he hits puberty. By high school, his year becomes an endless blur of travel games and showcase tournaments. And if he isn’t wrecked by arm injuries or mental burnout along the way, he eventually lands in the farm system of a Major League Baseball team.

But this year’s MLB postseason will highlight the rise of a different breed of pitchers, who rose to prominence on the mound in a way that seems counterintuitive: by avoiding pitching for as long as possible.

In the NLDS, the Los Angeles Dodgers will lean on a bullpen anchored by two former minor-league catchers and one former minor-league third baseman. They will face the New York Mets, a team whose best pitcher, Jacob deGrom, was a shortstop until his last year of college and whose closer, Jeurys Familia, didn’t play any kind of baseball until he was 15.

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Originally published: October 5, 2015. Last Updated: October 5, 2015.