Tracy McGrady, the retired NBA star who is giving baseball a chance, worked out Wednesday for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, pitching off a mound and giving us a closer glimpse of what he looks like as a pitcher.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that McGrady showed promise, although he needs to work on his velocity and control. Here's the video followed by more from Ortiz's report:
McGrady’s fastball sits consistently around 85-mph right now. He also throws a splitter, changeup and slider.
At 6-foot-8 and a tad thicker around the waist than he was during his 16-year NBA career, McGrady is an imposing presence as he delivers his pitches.
“Tracy has a lot going for him,” said former Astros president Tal Smith, who serves as a special adviser with the Skeeters. “He’s obviously got great athletic ability. He’s got a good arm and it’s a fresh arm.
“He hasn’t thrown a lot of pitches. Obviously his size is of great advantage … so that really helps. Obviously the mound is 60 feet, six inches from home plate and if you’re 6-8 that shortens the distance a little bit and the ball gets there a little bit quicker and hitters have less time to react.”
He told reporters Wednesday: "This would be huge. This would be so gratifying. Even if I just go out there and pitch one inning for a whole season, I mean, it’s a dream that’s come true for me. I never gave up on that dream. It’s here. I’m living it. Nobody can tell me different.”
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