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Will There Be Another Great Knuckleball Pitcher in the MLB?

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#1 Vanimal46


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Posted 13 November 2019 - 10:59 AM

Just a general question as we pass time in the offseason. I've always been a fan of the pitch, and in this day of high velocity, I would think a knuckleballer would be a great contrast to 95+ MPH fastballs. Is this pitch even being taught anymore at the younger levels?


For me as a kid, I could throw hard but couldn't figure out how to throw a curve ball well enough to get it over the plate. So I toyed with a knuckleball for years and that became my "off-speed" pitch when I was the mop up reliever. 

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#2 nicksaviking


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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:04 AM

Great thought, I always liked those pitchers too, and I really liked that they could/would pitch for so long. Just about all of them had grey hair on their final baseball card!


I might think the unpredictability of the pitch perhaps goes against today's game, as analytics drive instead towards certainty. But forever is a long time, I'll bet it comes back into fashion at some point.

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#3 Riverbrian


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Posted 13 November 2019 - 02:40 PM

My guess would be: Yes we will see another one or two or six. 


Especially since we've seen some tremendous results with the very very very very very few who have utilized it. 


If I had to take a guess on why we haven't seen more of them. I'd assume that the majority of players fool around with it but the pitch is never taken seriously to consider perfecting or using in a game. 


I've often wondered what a pitcher with a 95 plus heater would look like with a decent knuckleball as a change of pace. 


I understand that you can't repeat your delivery to disguise it and the catcher can't wear the pancake glove to catch a 95 plus heater but even so... a batter thinking about the extremes of both pitches should make both harder to hit. 


It is a charming pitch to watch but bottom line... any pitch that works is charming. 



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#4 Nine of twelve

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:22 PM

I don't know why there aren't more knuckleballers, but my guess is that it's because it's a hard pitch to master.

#5 gil4


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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:05 PM

My guess is there will be. Within the last 5 years I have finally accepted it won't be me. (Next year will be my age 55 season.)


I think it will be someone who throws it hard, like R.A. Dickey. (Maybe even harder.)

#6 Thegrin


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Posted 13 November 2019 - 11:37 PM

The main reason there are not more knuckleballers is that minor league organizations don't have the patience (or willingness) to develope them. Also, free agent rules don't give teams the time to properly develop older players until they perfect the pitch.