The contest over, Josh Booty’s next goal is to make the Arizona Diamondbacks out of spring training.
No big challenge, right?
The winner of MLB Newtork’s The Next Knuckler, Booty told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo he thinks he has a shot.
“I think that there’s a chance, even if it’s small,” Booty said.
Booty, 37, has MLB experience. The number five overall selection in the 1994 draft by the Florida Marlins, he reached the big leagues as a shortstop.
Now, though, he’s aiming to be a soft-throwing knuckleball pitcher. A soft-throwing knuckleball pitcher who happened to reach 90 MPH on the radar gun at camp Friday.
“I’m not saying there’s a real chance for me to make a team out of camp, but if they’ll keep me here and extend it and do some work I think with 30 or 40 different sessions I would have an opportunity,” he said. “If you can throw that knuckleball for strikes; it’s such a change of pace on what everybody else is doing it will throw people for a loop.”
That it would, and if he can harness the pitch, the Diamondbacks may have something. Not many pitchers have had success with the knuckleball in the majors — especially in recent history — though the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey, throws it.
So it can be done, and Booty hopes he’s next in the line of players who have reinvented themselves by way of the the pitch.
“Every knuckleballer has an unbelievable story,” he said. “Everybody, because they had arm trouble or something, something someone saw…every knuckleballer has a weird story, so why not?”