Righty or lefty? This batter switched after every pitch!

July 24th, 2022

Mickey Mantle. Chipper Jones. Eddie Murray. These three Hall of Famers are arguably the greatest switch-hitters of all time, but they’ve got nothing on Japanese high schooler Ko Yamaguchi.

This savant from Japan is taking switch-hitting to a new extreme. He switches which side he hits after EACH pitch. Literally every pitch! Though perhaps we should put “hits” in quotes since it’s unclear if he actually swings the bat based on the limited footage.

Not surprisingly, he gets hit by a pitcher who loses command of the strike zone while trying to counter such an ingenious approach. Not only does Yamaguchi switch which side he hits from between pitches, he crouches down and his knee almost hits the dirt, making for a miniscule strike zone.

Yamaguchi could be considered the hitting version of former MLB pitcher Pat Venditte, who rose to fame in 2015 by pitching with both his right and left hands. And just this past week, the Brewers took switch-pitching phenom Jurrangelo Cijntje in the 18th round of the MLB Draft. The young hurler can reach 90 mph with both hands.

So let’s get this question out of the way: Is changing the side you hit from in the middle of an at-bat allowed in MLB? The batter can switch until the pitcher comes to a set position to pitch, and the batter may change sides as many times as he chooses.

Will we see a brave MLB soul try the "Yamaguchi"?