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Tracy McGrady impresses some minor leaguers

Feb 11, 2014, 8:29 AM EDT

Tracy McGrady AP AP

Retired basketball player Tracy McGrady’s baseball odyssey progressed to throwing to actual hitters yesterday. They weren’t swinging — they were just standing in — but they came away impressed anyway, reports Mark Berman of Fox26 in Houston:

“He’s so tall and his arms are so long. His downward slope, you’re not going to see that too often,” said Barrett Barnes, a minor league outfielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, in an interview with FOX 26 Sports . . . “Say his velo is 87, but with his arms and his body, it feels like it’s 90-91 (MPH) . . . His velo might by lower, but it feels like it gets on you way faster.”

I’m impressed enough with 87, actually. And I sorta hope that, if the Astros are way out of it come late this summer, that they give him a chance to pitch in an actual game. That’d be all kinds of fun.

  1. cocheese000 - Feb 11, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    His arm will be dead by later summer. Not happening craig.

  2. stex52 - Feb 11, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Skeeters are, of course, an independent franchise with no relationship with the Astros. Honestly, if anything, the relationship is hostile because Jim Crane and Tal Smith are involved. You are probably having fun with it, but I don’t see it. If the Astros are doing circus stuff at the end of 2014 to attract interest, then Jeff Luhnow has lost control of his development plan.

  3. paperlions - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    It doesn’t say what he threw. The statement is a hypothetical based on distance the ball travels from release point to home plate.

    • stex52 - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Yeah, you can throw it 100 mph, and if it is flat and straight major leaguers will still clobber it.

      I used to watch Billy Wagner do that.

      • Mark - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        I doubt you watched Wagner do that often because he didn’t allow many HRs. Wagner is one of the best relievers of all time, he didn’t get clobbered that often.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        Now, if you said FARNSWORTH, you’d have a great example. Wagner, OTOH, was ridiculously good.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        More like Papelbon. I was at this game and applauded the Phils for overpaying a fastball guy with no deception.

      • stex52 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        In the year 2000 Billy Wagner tore his flexor tendon and had to have elbow surgery. Before they shut him down, he pitched 28 innings, quite a few of which were miserable. His ERA that year was 6.18, his WHIP was 1.66, and his HR/ 9 was 2.0.

        And I watched him pitch. He was still lighting up the radar gun, but it was flat, straight and waist-high. They clobbered it.

      • Reflex - Feb 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        You shoulda said “Wagner in 2000” because career wise that was a major aberration.

      • stex52 - Feb 11, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        Didn’t think it mattered. I also saw him pitch a lot of great games. My point was that a 100mph fastball is hittable if it has no movement. Wagner was just my example.

      • cur'68 - Feb 11, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        I’m glad I read this thread all the way through, Stex. Nearly ruptured myself with the jaw-drop. The Billy Wagner I remember was an Olde Testament GOD at striking out guys and limiting damage. If you are a relief pitcher you pray to the effigy of Bill Wagner.

        But in 2000? Yeah, he was Kyle Farnsworth.

  4. coryfor3 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Velo? Really?
    And color me surprised at seeing that some minor leaguer didn’t step out and immediately start badmouthing a future NBA HOFer. What did we expect to hear?

    • RavenzGunnerz - Feb 12, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      btw, there is no such thing as NBA HOF. There is, however, Basketball HOF.

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