This post is on former college teammate and 2012 NY Mets Triple A Pitcher, Erik Turgeon. Erik trained at AB this past winter in which I was able to grab some really great high speed clips of him throwing. He had never seen himself throw before using high speed video!
Erik is 6’0, 170lbs. He was drafted out of HS by the Boston Red Sox and did not sign. He was then drafted out of UConn by the New York Mets in the 2008 Draft. In 5 seasons he has accumulated 235 IP with 211 SO and a career ERA of 4.0. He made it to Triple A with the Mets.
Turgeon has been clocked at 97MPH but consistent 92-94 MPH. He is super flexible, with shoulder range of motion well beyond normal. When I measured external rotation of his throwing shoulder, his arm almost fell to the floor! He had 137º of External Rotation! Crazy laxity in his joints!
The throwing patterns that Erik demonstrates are High Level Throwing Patterns. His arm action, hip to trunk relationship, direction and sequence are incredible. The entire motion is fluent, with no breakdowns or flaws. His ability to repeat the same throwing pattern and sequence over and over again is what makes him, and all the other high level throwers successful. Repeatable, consistent throws! Let’s dig deeper.
Erik’s Arm Action
For those of you who have read the eBook on High Level Throwing, you will remember pitching is a refined version of throwing. Pitching is 100% optimal. In this clip, the arm will drop straight down, with the elbow extended, and close to the back hip. As he is striding out, the arm starts to move into horizontal abduction in the Sagittal or SagFrontal plane (Remember the Planes of Movement from the eBook).
As the lead leg externally rotates to land, the arm will move into and through external rotation. When the arm moves through external rotation, the ball will drop down and behind the head, letting the elbow lead the throw. The trunk will then accelerate the arm forward. The elbow will extend or unhinge in line or just in front of the body/head and finally pronate through to ball release.
Erik’s Hip to Trunk Relationship
This clip shows the hip to trunk relationship. The hips have to open up at some point! Keeping them closed too long or opening them up too soon will result in an inconsistent throw and a timing issue placing excess stress on the elbow and/or shoulder. So, as the hips open, the trunk turns back against the hips, creating resistance in the body. This resistance is what accelerates the arm forward to ball release! Resistance in a throw is the key to velocity and the key to High Level Throwing!
Just a clean sequence. Hips, Trunk and Arm are all synced together creating one, fluent motion. As the lead leg externally rotates, the arm starts to move into horizontal abduction in the Sagittal or SagFrontal Plane (Remember your Planes of Movement from the eBook). The arm will then move into and through external rotation. The trunk turns back against the hips as the hips are opening up. The elbow will extend or unhinge in line with or just in front of the head/body. The arm will pronate through to ball release. Also, notice the lead knee extends at ball release. This lead knee extension is important for decelerating the linear directional forces created by the body.