We’ve only just begun Spring Training ahead of the 2023 Major League Baseball season.
But college baseball is well underway and, just weeks in, we’ve already seen both the best and the worst the sport has to offer.
On one hand, we had the viral TCU bat boy, whose dance moves stole the show during a recent Horned Frogs home game. On the other, there was the absolute joyless umpire who decided to eject a Washington Huskies player for a relatively innocuous home run trot.
But perhaps nothing has, or maybe even will, trump what we saw on Monday.
That was the debut of Mississippi State freshman pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje (Sain-tjuh).
Cijntje, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound native of the Netherlands, was raised in Curacao and later moved to Florida. Perfect Game ranked him as the No. 34 overall prospect in the 2022 class.
He’s got nasty stuff, which includes a fastball that hits 97 on the gun and a wicked breaking ball. But wait, there’s more.
What truly sets Cijntje apart is that he pitches with both hands. And he appears to be dominant with both hands.
By now you’ve probably heard of the switch-pitching Jurrangelo Cijntje. Well today he got his first career start and it’s pretty mind blowing to see a freshman punching guys out at 90+ from both sides.
7 Ks over 4.0 IP allowing just 1 H.
📹: @HailStateBB pic.twitter.com/8ahm8PIyK0
— SEC Baseball (@SECbaseball) February 22, 2023
The freshman made his college debut against Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday and absolutely shoved. He pitched four shutout innings and allowed just one hit to go along with seven strikeouts.
His fastball from the right-hand side regularly registered at 96 and his mixed in a nasty slider in the low eighties. From the left-hand side, he was dialing up the heat at around 92 while also displaying impressive command.
Baseball fans were absolutely floored.
90+ from both arms is insane, wtf https://t.co/Ux6VRZzlW8
— Rob (@ParlaysAnd45s) February 23, 2023
Do what https://t.co/10zW6uaPUY
— mike brown is an elite owner (@danaarsenault) February 23, 2023
Excuse me….a switch….pitcher?!?https://t.co/towpvqOVFN
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) February 23, 2023
Holy shit. https://t.co/1BbJdlEkVO
— Benno Martens (@bennomartens) February 23, 2023
Major League Baseball has seen a handful of switch pitchers in its time. The most recent being Pat Venditte, who last played in 2020.
But none had the type of stuff that Cijntje appears to posses. The freshman looks like a future ace, even if he only ends up pitching from one side.
But in the age of Shohei Ohtani, we’ve learned that there are no limits to what can be done in baseball.