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🔥 Overlooked to Signed: How Erich Jumped His Velo and Got Back To Pro Ball!


Congratulations to Erich on signing with the Diamondbacks!


After a solid rookie season debut with the Cubs in 2022, Erich was traded to the Phillies in a 3 team trade that offseason


However, the excitement of being traded to a WS favorite faded as coming out of spring training he dealt with persistent pain in his forearm that eventually culminated in a flexor tear, keeping him at the Phillies rehab center for most of the season


Even worse his rehab process was frustratingly botched, and with his injury lingering into the offseason, the Phillies released him


The first order then for us this past fall became simply to get him healthy; namely, to cease all throwing and gripping/grabbing, which in his poorly done rehab had only served to “pick the scab” and not let the injury heal


After a period of rest, he resumed throwing, and with a much better constructed progression, was able to return to max velocity. However, the window was very small, and the results in his bullpen before scouts in early February was underwhelming. No team signed him.


The reality was that at that stage he seemed like another guy who had his moment in MLB, but wasn’t impressive enough to get another chance-there’s always a younger, cheaper arm elsewhere, and nothing about his current package was enough to make a team excited enough to sign him


What had to improve was his velocity. He had to go from the low 90’s (he averaged 93.9 mph MLB in 2022, a shade above the MLB average of 93.7 mph), to the mid 90’s: it’s the jump from the low 90’s to the mid and upper 90’s that distinguishes guys at the pro levels, and that so so few ever attain


I had several new ideas and methods I’d come up with that I’d been using with some of our guys to great success, and while Erich was skeptical at first because his throwing would look so different from a typical cookie cutter throwing program, when you’ve trained an athlete from high school to D1 to Milb to MLB, there’s a lot of trust built, and he agreed to give it a go


I think also that he knew that when you’ve been pitching at a high level for a long time, guys don’t just have random jumps-it was going to take something new and innovative that he hadn’t done before


It worked well that his first pen after 3 weeks he had a nice jump, and once he saw results, he was all in. His application: from execution, to communication, to being teachable on mechanical adjustments, made it easy from there.


He climbed to 94.4 to 94.7 to 95.3, to culminating in a 96.3 average (which is a top 20 FB average MLB): an increase of a full 3mph from his prior MLB in game velo, and a full 5mph harder than his best prior pen average


The most gratifying part of this process to me was one of the scouts that had been at his February bullpen, was at the May bullpen, and couldn’t stop gushing about his jump in velo-it felt like validation of all the work and application he’d put in from February to May


With the Diamondbacks he’ll now progress from Side to LBP to building out 1 to 1+ Milb, and go from there


It’s not about “innings”


It’s not about “politics”


Its not about the “right agent”


It’s about your own development


BECOME UNDENIABLE!


-Fenske

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