Throughout the history of baseball there have been many great hitters who could double as pitchers, and many great pitchers who weren’t pushovers with the stick in their hands either. The greatest example of this type of player will always be Babe Ruth, who won 89 games as a member of the Boston Red Sox before being sold to the Yankees where he became the Sultan of Swat and started smacking homers in between shotgunning beers and hot dogs (sometimes doing all three at the same time).
It’s not surprising considering that most young pitchers also play the field and bat through college, and don’t become one or the other until they turn pro. Of course, even though Ichiro Suzuki didn’t grow up in the United States, that didn’t keep him from knowing how to pitch as well as hit, and there’s a possibility Ichiro may be used as an emergency pitcher on Japan’s WBC team. Which is why he’s been working on his fastball.