Q&A w/ Cardinals Prospect Ettore Giulianelli

Discover Ettore Giulianelli's journey from Italy to becoming the most viral pitcher in baseball
Sep 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of the hat and glove of St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Nolan Gorman (not pictured) before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; A detailed view of the hat and glove of St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Nolan Gorman (not pictured) before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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You previously represented Team Italy in the Senior League World Series. Is playing for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) a dream of yours? Are there any specific Italian players you admire and would love to play alongside?

"Playing in the World Baseball Classic is a dream of mine because it’s always an honor to represent your country. I’ve always admired Alessandro Maestri, an Italian player who made history in Italian baseball and has always supported me on my journey."

In 2019, you signed with the Cardinals as an international free agent. What was the signing process like, and why did you ultimately choose the Cardinals? How hard was it to decide to play professional baseball so far from home at such a young age?

"I signed with the Cardinals when I was 16 years old, and it was the easiest decision of my life. It had always been my dream, and I finally had a shot, so I didn’t let it slip away. I chose the Cardinals because I knew they had a great farm system. They welcomed and helped me in the best way possible, making me feel like I was in the right place."

Your arm-side moving, breaking pitch (some call it a curveball, others call it a screwball) garnered a lot of attention on social media. What do you call the pitch, how do you throw it, and when did you realize it was a special offering?

"I've always called it a curveball because it originally was a 12-6 curveball. However, over time, it started to sink and eventually became more like a screwball. Honestly, I don't know exactly how I throw it. I think I'm throwing a normal curveball, but I can feel it out of my hand that it's going to sink. I realized it was an interesting pitch as soon as I saw it sink."

Your over-the-top arm slot is very unique. Have you always thrown that way? Have your pitches always had a funky movement profile due to the arm slot? Is there anything in particular you worked on to help develop your pitch movement?

"I've always pitched from over the top with normal pitching movements, but over time, without me even realizing it, my arm angle went even higher. Now, it feels completely natural for me to pitch with that arm angle."