Tracy McGrady baseball career trending up? Pirates outfielder calls T-Mac a 'Presence' on the mound [VIDEO]

Raimundo Ortiz
By Raimundo Ortiz @AroundtheMundo
on Feb 11, 2014 08:38 AM EST
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Tracy McGrady
Former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady is trying his hand as a pitcher. (Photo : Reuters.)

Tracy McGrady may not have had the postseason success he dreamed of during his illustrious NBA career, but at 34 with his basketball days behind him McGrady's picked up a new ball.

T-Mac is trying to become a pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent Athletic League, and apparently he was impressive in his first ever bullpen session with live hitters.

"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. "When you have a presence like that on the mound, it's really hard to settle in and be comfortable hitting."

Standing at six feet, eight inches tall McGrady towers over hitters much like Randy Johnson, "The Big Unit" once did in his Hall of Fame career. No one is comparing McGrady, a pro baseball neophyte to the great left-hander, but size-wise they're comparable. He also doesn't have that top-end velocity Johnson did, but his lanky frame gives him the advantage of deception.

"Say his [velocity] is 87, but with his arms and his body, it feels like it's 90-91," Barnes said. "His velo might [be] lower, but it feels like it gets on you way faster."

T-Mac has been working with Arizona Diamondbacks coach Scipio Spinks to develop his mechanics, and McGrady gave much of the credit for his impressive display to him. "[Spinks] taught me a lot, mechanics, and just a lot of things I didn't know about pitching, and I'm using that to my advantage," McGrady said.

Spinks agreed with Barnes that McGrady proved a lot in his firs outing vs. live batters, and said that the experience will help him going forward. "It gives him a gauge to see where he's at," Spinks said. "Just to let us know if he's going to back off if there are hitters at the plate, which he didn't. As a matter of fact, he said that 'I want them to know I'm a little wild.'"

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