Important note: This story ran on April 1 as an April Fool's Day joke.
Rays' outfield prospect Drew Vettleson got some attention in high school for his ability to switch-pitch. He'll be getting a lot more attention now since it was announced today that Vettleson will be moving to the mound.
The move is a surprise considering he was a supplemental first round pick as a hitter, but he reportedly impressed the Rays' brass when showing off his unique skill between drills in Port Charlotte. The ambidextrous Vettleson becomes the minors' second switch-pitcher, joining the Yankees' Pat Venditte in that club.
Vettleson is stronger from the right side, able to creep over 90 mph with his fastball and throws a potential plus curveball. He doesn't have the same time of velocity from the left side, but is effective nonetheless. He threw two no-hitters as a junior in high school.
He's usually able to have the platoon advantage, although the rules state that when facing a switch hitter, the pitcher must declare first which arm he will be throwing with for the at-bat. Vettleson would switch gloves in high school, but as a pro he'll probably get a specially-made glove for quick switching, similar to Venditte.
Vettleson probably wasn't going to debut in full-season ball anyway, but this clinches it. He'll start out in extended spring training before joining either Princeton or the GCL Rays' pitching staff. He may have had a higher ceiling as a hitter, but his unique skill will surely create problems for opposing teams, and his stuff has plus potential from the right side and average potential from the left side. He should be able to move rather quickly through the lower minors as he'll rarely be at a platoon disadvantage.
(Sorry, I usually hate these things too. We'll have a weekend open thread up this afternoon and get into our regular posting on Monday.)