RINKU SINGH AND DINESH PATEL
Several articles about the two newest pitchers signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates referred to the duo as having “million dollar arms.” Of course, since they’re the Pirates, it cost them just $2,500 for a “million dollar” arm.
Monday the Pirates signed pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. The two become the first professional baseball players in the history of the nation of India.
Singh and Patel were winners of a reality tv show in India which sought some of the country’s top athletes and tried to turn them into pitchers. More than 30,000 men from India tried out for the show. Both Singh and Patel pushed 90 mph on the radar gun. Singh ended up winning the show and the $100,000 prize for first place. He didn’t throw hard enough to earn the show’s million dollar bonus. Patel got $2,500 and a plane ticket to America.
Singh is a cricket player. Patel throws the javelin. The two traveled to America to live, work out and train. Both threw in front of approximately 20 Major league scouts earlier this month. They both reportedly threw in the low 90 mph range.
The reality tv show was sponsored by a company of sports agents in California who believed they could locate Major League caliber arms in a nation of one billion people. Singh and Patel are literally 1 and 2 out of a billion. There are one billion people in India. Currently untapped, some experts feel it will be the next geographic region to produce a wealth of MLB players.
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Singh and Patel are longshots to ever make it to the majors. How long of a shot? Consider, neither has ever PLAYED IN A BASEBALL GAME IN THEIR LIVES. Think of them as the Yuta Tabuses of baseball. (Tabuse was the 5’9″ point guard from Japan who tried to play in the NBA.) The NBA thought it could expand into the Japanese market by signing Tabuse. It never worked out, but at least Tabuse played four games in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns in 2004.
Not only are Sigh and Patel unlikely to ever make it to the majors, they may not ever play minor league baseball. The two will probably spend next year in extended spring training. They are arguably the rawest prospects in major League history.
RINKU SINGH: THROWS 90 MPH