R.J. Swindle, a 23-year-old who had been pitching for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, throws a curveball that falls off the table at 53 mph. He will report to Low-A Lakewood. [Link]
More proof the Phillies are reading Beerleaguer. The team took the advice of "hit-and-run" poster, TPH, and reached out and grabbed the indy league junkballer with the incredible K/BB ratio, but few believers among scouts who think his garbage won't fool hitters above Single-A. It was TPH’s first of two posts about Swindle, dropped liked orphaned children in the comments section of long-dead threads. They were his first and only comments. Must have been his agent.
The Yankees looked at the 6-3 junkballer in spring training, but didn’t think he could retire advanced hitters and released him. He caught on with Newark and made nine relief appearances, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA, striking out nine in 9 1-3 innings.
The Vancouver, Canada product pitched collegiate ball at Charleston Southern, shattering the school record for strikeouts. The Red Sox drafted him in the 14th round of the 2004 draft and he pitched his first season in Low-A Lowell, striking out 56 in 51 innings, walking only four. In 2005, he appeared in 18 games with Schaumburg of the independent Northern League and eventually found his way to the Yankees in 2006, pitching most of the season in Low-A Charleston, strikeouting out 46 and walking just 8.
He throws a variety of pitches, including a fastball that rarely tops 80, a changeup, curveball, slider and cutter. From an interview earlier in his career:
"I have a bunch of pitches that I like to throw," the 22 year old explained. "I really have to throw a lot of different stuff because I don’t throw all that hard. I picked up a curveball about two or three years ago. I was throwing it in the low 60s to mid 60s. I honestly have had about a million people ask me how I throw it, but I can’t really explain it to anyone or teach it to anyone. It’s just a weird arm angle and a weird release point and I’m able to fool some guys. I got to have that to make up for the speed that I lack with the fastball."