Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Minnesota Twins have signed a 24-year-old who throws a 100-mph fastball but has never been drafted. Brandon Poulson of the Healdsburg Prune Packers, a collegiate summer league team, got a $250,000 deal. He's a 6-foot-6 right-hander and fitness freak who was timed at a 6.6-second 60-yard dash in his socks and has a 40-inch vertical leap. "He's a physical specimen. He's got the best pure arm strength I've ever seen," said Twins scout Elliott Strankman.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Sounds like Sid Finch. Wrong time of year for that though.

#1 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-30 06:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

I thought of Syd Finch when I saw the headline, too. I guess we're a couple of old dirtbags, Sully. Maybe this guy will be another Mark Fidrych.

#2 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-07-30 07:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

Being an Academy of Arts student, I must say I am quite proud!

#3 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-07-30 07:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Oh please Jesus. We really need him...and about five more decent players.

#4 | Posted by Sycophant at 2014-07-30 07:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

Pray Byron Buxton's wrist is alright. That's a good start.

#5 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-07-30 08:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

When will I be able to watch the movie? I love baseball movies. Baseball, not so much.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2014-07-30 08:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Major league baseball already has a number of pitchers who can light up the radar guns with 100 mph pitches. Major league baseball already has a bunch of pitchers who can routinely hit 97 mph.

Detroit has had it's share of bomb-throwers that fizzled in the Bigs - Ryan Perry, Villareal and Joel Zumaya (my wife's favorite and his fizzle was due to injuries).

The point being that velocity alone does not necessarily translate into success at the highest level.

#7 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-07-31 01:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

The point being that velocity alone does not necessarily translate into success at the highest level.

#7 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-07-31 01:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

Definitely true but assuming he was throwing close to as hard as he is now, I don't know how he managed an 8.38 ERA in college.

#8 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-31 09:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe this guy will be another Mark Fidrych.

#2 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-07-30 07:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

I grew up hearing about him but he was a few years before I was old enough to follow pro sports.

#9 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-31 09:22 AM | Reply | Flag:

Definitely true but assuming he was throwing close to as hard as he is now, I don't know how he managed an 8.38 ERA in college.

#8 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-31 09:21 AM | Reply | Flag:

Good hitters can hit any fastball. The key is you have to have a second or third pitch.

#10 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-07-31 09:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

Good hitters can hit any fastball.

#10 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-07-31 09:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

Based on experience, I wouldn't know.

Seriously, what I was thinking it that he was pitching for Academy of Arts. Who do they even play? I'm picturing the kids from Fame lighting him up.

#11 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-31 09:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

#11 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-31 09:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

When I was in high school I played against Marc Pisciotta. He threw in the high 90's and our first base coach picked up the catchers signals in the 2nd inning. The first time I got up to bat he threw seeds and I had never seen a fastball like it. Anyway the first base coach tells us between innings that if he says our first name it's going to be a curve. I managed to go 3 for 4 never swinging at a fastball and was satisfied with hitting the curve with 2 strikes into right field. The team was like 32-0 in our region and we managed to beat them that day and he cried on the mound. Anyway he went on to play for the Cubs and a couple of other teams and was never really anything but a arm in the rotation. Anyway, he was the best pitcher I'd seen and he was middle of the road in the show.

#12 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-07-31 09:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

#12 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-07-31 09:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

An old roommate of mine had pitched against Chipper Jones in high school. Said Jones hit a ball off him that probably hasn't landed yet.

#13 | Posted by Sully at 2014-07-31 10:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

Let's hope he does, well, hits the Bigs and stays there, serving as an inspiration for young people everywhere. Just stay from the booze, dope and fast women...

#14 | Posted by catdog at 2014-07-31 05:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

Good hitters can hit any fastball. The key is you have to have a second or third pitch.

#10 | POSTED BY DALTON

Couldn't agree more with you Dalton. It's the ability of hitting the off-speed stuff that makes you a major or minor leaguer.

#15 | Posted by drewinnj at 2014-07-31 05:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

any guesses on how long before he has his Tommy John surgery?

#16 | Posted by eberly at 2014-07-31 05:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

pitching earlier this month for the Healdsburg Prune Packers

Thought this was an Onion article.

#17 | Posted by mattm at 2014-07-31 09:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

Hitting a big time curve ball is probably the hardest thing to do in sports. I batted against Tommy Green (former Phillies starter) and it is literally impossible, for this mere mortal, to even get the bat on the ball. Fastballs are a dime a dozen. Sliders, 12-6 curve and splitters are what do most hitters in.

This guy sounds like an incredible physical speciman. 40" vertical? That is Labron like. But, unless he develops a couple of big time off speed pitches, he will be just another big arm pitcher that doesn't make it. Wish him the best. The odds are against him though

#18 | Posted by CaseyJones at 2014-08-01 08:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

any guesses on how long before he has his Tommy John surgery?

#16 | Posted by eberly at 2014-07-31 05:49 PM | Reply | Flag

One year.

#19 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 09:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Fastballs are a dime a dozen."

Unless you're Mariano Rivera.

#20 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-01 09:26 AM | Reply | Flag:

Unless you're Mariano Rivera.

#20 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-01 09:26 AM | Reply | Flag:

That's not fair. Him and Greg Maddux are the only two pitchers I can think of that had different variations of a fastball that they could manipulate.

#21 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 09:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

#21 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 09:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

I'm just messing around. I know that there are 2 seam fastballs and 4 seam fastballs and cut fastballs but I couldn't tell you the difference. Rivera's pitch was the only one I've seen that went through bats like a buzzsaw.

#22 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-01 10:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

#22 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-01 10:00 AM | Reply | Flag

I knew you were. As far as the difference it's hard to describe but, basically the two seam is where the index and middle finger are going with the two seams that are somewhat straight. Depending on finger pressure you can manipulate the ball to go in or out. Four seamer is when those two finger go across those same stitches. Four seam fastball tends to be straight and flat. I doubt I did a adequate job of describing it.

#23 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 10:16 AM | Reply | Flag:

I remember when Maddux was with the Braves and he was being interviewed he was asked if he thought a new pitch could ever be invented. He said "oh yea I have invented a new one. No one could ever hit it either. No one. The only problem is you can only throw it one time b/c it will blow your elbow out."

#24 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 10:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

#24 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 10:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

I don't think they were inventing new pitches but guys like David Cone and El Duque used to pull pitches out nowhere once in a while. They'd be having a shaky outing and out of nowhere they would throw a crazy pitch that wasn't in their regular selection. They would figure if their regular pitches weren't working they would try something else. I'm sure other guys do this too but its harder to notice when you don't see them all the time.

I like players who are willing to take a shot doing something risky when the regular plan isn't working. Its why I would rather watch Eli Manning throw 25 interceptions in a season trying to make plays than suffer through a season with a "game manager" who dumps the ball off all the time.

#25 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-01 10:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Depending on finger pressure you can manipulate the ball to go in or out."

I always thought its crazy that they can change the flight path with finger pressure. Doesn't sound like it should work but it does.

#26 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-01 10:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

It doesn't make sense that you can twist you arm and spin a baseball enough to make it curve either.

#27 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 11:01 AM | Reply | Flag:

Growing up I played with a guy that could throw a split finger fastball. The action on it was like a knuckle ball except it came in straight until a few feet before the plate and it would drop straight down. It literally looked like it rolled off the end of a table. The good thing is since I was the only kid in the league that could catch it it guaranteed my slot on all of our all star teams. He eventually got drafted by the Marlins but, never made it out of the minors.

#28 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-01 11:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

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