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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