Give him a hand ... or two! Ambidextrous college hurler wows in first start

February 23rd, 2023
Mississippi State's Jurrangelo Cijntje dominated on the mound ... with both arms.Vasha Hunt/AP

On Wednesday night, college baseball got its first look at a pitcher the likes of which we have never seen before.

Mississippi State true freshman -- and switch-pitcher -- Jurrangelo Cijntje (pronounced SAIN-ja) struck out seven Louisiana-Monroe hitters in four scoreless innings during his first collegiate start. He permitted just one hit and one walk. Six of his K’s came as a right-hander, but he ended the third by turning southpaw and firing a 92 mph fastball past a left-handed hitter.

Ambidextrous pitchers are rare, but there is a precedent for them in baseball. What makes Cijntje a true one-of-one is the velocity he possesses in each arm. He is a natural lefty who can reach 92 mph from that side. But he can pop 96 mph and has better stuff from the right side. That unique skill set is what made him the talk of the 2022 Draft Combine last June.

Cijntje had no problem against the high schoolers he faced during that event. After not signing with the Brewers as their 18th-round Draft pick last year, he has now moved on to mowing down college bats.

There will be absolutely no platoon advantage when facing this 5-foot-11 unicorn.