Mickey Jannis On Going All In with the Knuckleball: “I knew it was a long shot, but…”

R A Dickey Ender InciarteAmong the nominees for this year’s Rawlings Gold Glove Award were two Atlanta Braves: center fielder Ender Inciarte and pitcher R.A. Dickey, whose fate next season is still unknown (to us, anyway). Inciarte had won a Gold Glove in 2016 and Dickey had done so in 2013, a year after winning the Cy Young Award. Although Enciarte won the Gold Glove this year as well, Dickey didn’t make the cut. SABR.org has the list of winners for each league that were announced on November 7.

SABR.org notes that the SABR Defensive Index “accounts for approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process that was added to the votes from the managers and coaches.”

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Candiotti A Life of KnuckleballsMickey Jannis smiles for the cameraAn MLB.com/Cut4 profile of minor league knuckleball pitcher Mickey Jannis says that he is

a rare gem in the Arizona Fall League. Sure, the 29-year-old doesn’t fit the demographic in a league that caters to young stars, but more than that, he has a pitch you seldom see across baseball: The knuckleball….

After washing out as a conventional pitcher, he adopted a new goal: To stand out in independent ball with the new pitch.

“I always knew I had a good knuckleball,” Jannis, now in the Mets organization, told MLB.com. “I knew it was a long shot, but I felt more confident going that direction than sticking with what I was doing.”…

Jannis approached Tom Candiotti, a pioneer of the knuckleball, for any advice he may have on mastering the pitch….

Candiotti, a 16-year MLB vet, was impressed with what he saw, calling it an “A-plus” pitch and welcoming Jannis into the knuckleball community with open arms.

Candiotti was himself a conventional pitcher turned knuckleballer. His story is told in K.P. Wee’s A Life of Knuckleballs