April 20, 2018

Touring The Bases With…John D’Acquisto

August 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Former big league right-hander John D’Acquisto was the 17th pick of the 1970 amateur draft, going to the San Francisco Giants in a draft that also featured Mike Ivie, Darrell Porter and “Disco Dan” Ford.  D’Acquisto got his feet wet in the Pioneer (rookie) League before the 19-year-old blossomed in Single-A in 1971, posting a 3.13 ERA and fanning 244 batters in 233 innings.  The next year, the flamethrower was even better, going 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 209 innings.  He was very good again in 1973, although it was his third straight year with over 100 walks, and made his big league debut on September 2 of that year.

D’Acquisto earned a spot in San Francisco’s rotation in 1974 and he went 12-14 with a decent 3.77 ERA, but walked 124 batters in 215 innings, an issue that would haunt him for the rest of his career.  According to Giants manager Charlie Fox, D’Acquisto threw harder than Sam McDowell.  “Nobody throws as hard as Sudden Sam,” claimed Fox, “but this guy does.”  By his own admission, the hurler could hit 100 on the radar gun and was once clocked as high as 102.4, but he never learned to control his pitches and finished his 10-year career walking 6.3 batters per nine innings.

After throwing almost 1,000 professional innings by age 22, D’Acquisto developed bone chips in his elbow and missed almost all of the 1975 season.  He returned in 1976 and was moved to the bullpen in 1978, where he thrived, pitching to a 2.13 ERA in 93 innings, saving 10 games and fanning 10.1 batters per 9 innings.  He pitched mostly in relief until 1982 when he retired with a career mark of 34-51 and an ERA of 4.56 in 266 games.

Click here to see a video of an interview we conducted with John D’Acquisto.

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