Genevieve Beacom becomes first female to play baseball professionally in Australia

Australian Genevieve Beacom, 17, throws the shutout inning as a relief to make history.

Australian Genevieve Beacom, 17, throws the shutout inning as a relief to make history.
Screenshot: Sports broadcast Australia

Remember that show Pitch aired on Fox in 2016? That show revolved around the question, “What if there was a female pitcher in Major League Baseball?” The show was canceled after a season notwithstanding amazing reviews by critics and audiences alike with the detractors who call the show “cliche”. Basically, some people saw the show as a joke they couldn’t believe. Well, those folks better start to believe it, because professional pitchers are starting to pop up on the other side of the world.

Meet Genevieve Beacom, a 17-year-old left-handed supporter for the Melbourne Aces. As of this morning, Beacom is the first woman ever to launch professionally in Australia.

In his debut appearance, Beacom pitched a goalless sixth inning allowing for zero hits and two walks. Although the Adelaide Giants ended up winning the game with a 7-1 final, Beacom was a bright spot on an otherwise miserable day for the Aces. While you can argue as much as you want that maybe Beacom was lucky, I would like to make a counterpoint …

Beacom has a killer who breaks the ball. This is a 12-6 turn reminiscent of the early Barry Zito, if you ask me. I am exaggerating? Maybe, but he’s 17 for heaven’s sake! He can keep developing that switch and possibly turn it into a seriously devastating weapon the longer he plays.

What’s even more impressive than the camp itself is the Beacom release point. As you can see in the overlap, there is hardly any separation between where it releases its fastball and its curve. This is one of the most important aspects of pitching: don’t reverse pitches. Hitters will be looking for any little information to figure out whether or not the next pitched throw will be 90 mph or 75, so Beacom’s ability to make each of his shots look the same is pretty impressive for someone his age. When I took the video and broken it down frame by frame, you can see it actually goes slightly more over the top with his ball break, but the difference is so tiny that even Major League hitters would have a hard time noticing. the difference between live bats.

Second Commercial rumors of the MLB, Beacom’s fastball is found anywhere between 80 and 84 mph, which is close to the fastest pace ever recorded by a pitcher. In the show I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, fictional superstar Ginny Baker went above 87 mph with her fastball. So, theoretically speaking, we’re not that far from the “unrealistic” world portrayed in that 2016 TV show.

There are pitchers in Major League Baseball today struggling to hit the 90mph that dominated Major League competition. Between active pitchers with at least 200 career innings pitched, two of the top 16 career ERA leaders have average fastball speeds of less than 90 mph: Richard Bleier of the Marlins and Aaron Loup of the Angels. So as long as a woman can demonstrate control and an ability to make weak contacts similar to what people like Bleier or Loup have done over the course of their careers, she would just need to increase her speed by a few rungs to be officially at the same. level of current Major League pitchers. Don’t forget she is a left handed pitcher and those are always in demand.

We’re probably still decades away from seeing the first ever woman in Major League Baseball, but as long as women like Beacom keep showing up, it will only be a matter of time before that happens.

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