By: Kyle Cantlon
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Toronto native Sam Turcotte is expected to be a large factor in the starting rotation for the Canadian Junior National Team this fall.
The 18-year-old from Don Mills, in his third season of elite club baseball with the Ontario Terriers, is widely regarded as one of the best junior pitchers in the country. The young hurler is in Florida as part of a two-week training camp for the Canadian under-18 team.
In a recent interview with the Toronto Observer, Turcotte discussed the foundation he builds his game around, and the mechanical adjustments he has been making to his game this off-season.
“The keys for me are probably my fastball and my changeup. Everything works off of my fastball. I’ve always been able to throw really hard, but when you get down here and you are playing against these guys at this level, it doesn’t really matter anymore.
“Everyone can throw 90+ (mph). You have to mix in your pitches. So, knowing that I’ve been working really hard on my changeup as well as my two-seamer.”
Realizing that he won’t be able to live off just his fastball forever, the tall righty explained, “This off-season I have been working on a lot of plyometrics and trying to get more explosive, trying to add some miles to my two-seamer. I’m also trying to add a fourth pitch, which is my slider.”
With a six-foot-four frame, a smoking fastball, and a growing repertoire of three to four very effective pitches, it’s no wonder that the Stony Brook University recruit is a highly regarded pitcher on many MLB prospect lists.
When asked about the possibility of turning pro after this summer’s MLB draft, instead of heading to the NCAA, Turcotte left the door open.
“There’s a chance. There’s definitely a chance I could turn pro. I’m going to see where the cards fall in June.”