Who Is Justin Turner?

In my last post on here, I wrote about how impressive Justin Turner had been.  After I hit ‘post’ I realized that I had no idea who I was talking about, except that I knew his stats and what he looked like from seeing games on TV and through highlights.  So, I did a little digging and here’s what I found out about Turner.  A note here: Turner was designated for assignment today, but still could be on the roster at some early point in the season.

  • His birthday is Nov. 23, 1984; making his opening day age 24
  • He was born in Long Beach, a town I know from experience is one of California’s best baseball areas
  • He played for 4 years at Cal State Fullerton
  • At CSF, his lowest batting average was .304 and lowest OBP was .380
  • He was drafted in the 7th round of the 2006 Draft by the Cincinnati Reds
  • In 2006, after he was drafted, he played 60 games in the Pioneer League (Rookie League) and dominated the circuit
  • In his first full pro season, 2007, he started with Dayton in Low-A, and hit .311 with a .374 OBP, 10 HR and 59 RBI.  Not bad numbers for a leadoff or #2 guy.  The 10 dingers were the most he’d had in any season, college or pro.
  • Starting 2008, Turner was ranked the #23 prospect in the Reds system by Reds blog Red Legs Baseball
  • In 33 games in 2008 in Sarasota, one of the hardest parks to hit in in all of the minor leagues, Turner hit .316 with a .384 OBP.  He also had 11 RBI, meaning 1 RBI per 3 games.
  • After those 33 games, he was called up to Chattanooga, the AA Southern League affiliate.  In 78 games, he did slightly worse, hitting .289, his first stint of more than 6 games where he hit below .300.  With the .289 average though, came a .359 OBP and 8 HR with 42 RBI.
  • His career K:BB ratio is 185:108, an incredible ratio for a minor leaguer with only 3 years in a system.
  • Turner on the 80-point scouting scale (20 is lowest-20 is highest) is measured at: Power-46, Speed-68, Contact-76(WOW) and Patience-38.  (All this by The Baseball Cube)
  • He has an accurate arm and almost never misplays a ground ball.
  • Very reminiscent of Brian Roberts.

From what I’ve been reading about him, Turner is the next B-Rob.  He might not be quite as fast, but has an impressive track record and should be a mainstay in the Orioles organization if he clears waivers.  It seems like most players do clear waivers this late in spring, so that’s good news.  It’s just confusing to me why the team and Dave Trembley wouldn’t want this guy at least on the 40-man roster.  Well, that’s Justin Turner, let’s keep our fingers crossed that nobody will claim him.

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  • http://titansized.com Kellen Barton

    Justin Turner has been a very pleasant surprise this offseason, especially considering he was basically a “throw in” in the deal that sent Ramon Hernandez’s dead weight to Cincy.

    I don’t think that he ever really had a chance to make the club this Spring, but at least Trembley got a chance to see him for a while in camp. He certainly made a good impression and figures to have helped his “prospect” status. He actually doesn’t have to clear waivers, so he’s in Baltimore’s control for at least a few more years.

    With the springs that players like Turner, Luis Montanez and Nolan Reimold have had it makes sense that some people are disappointed that a guy like Felix Pie will make the roster even though guys who have shown more, and been in the O’s system for longer, are being sent back down. It does make some sense, though.

    Pie is out of options, is a former top prospect, and was acquired for next to nothing. Hopefully he plays to expectations and solidifies our outfield for years to come.

    Either way, we’ll see those other guys sooner than later. We might not see Turner this year until rosters are expanded to 40 in September- with guys like Freel and Wiggington solidifying Baltimore’s middle infield depth, but we’ll see them all again. (I think that Montanez is the first offensive call up this season).

    Hopefully Turner has a long and bright future as an Oriole and becomes one of many “steals” that Andy MacPhail will have found as our GM.

  • Informed Fan

    He doesn’t have to go through waivers you n00b. Do your homework, this kid has never played above AA ball! He’s certainly not out of options and I don’t think we would’ve picked him up or been so lackadaisical in sending him down to the minors if that were the case. I agree with the case you’ve made, but he really is so raw and untested, it’s hard to make educated comparisons to someone as tested as Roberts. That’s like saying Matt Wieters can stamp his ticket to the HOF. Some decent assertions, but for God’s sake do your homework on waivers.

  • http://birdswatcher.com Michael

    Yeah, he is just optioned down to Norfolk or Bowie. He has options left unlike Pie. Turner will be a Oriole for a long time to come.

  • joeb

    After I posted this, I looked back over his details and realized that he still has his minor league options. My bad on this, and Mr. Informed Fan, I always like a well-placed n00b

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