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School: N.C. State; Class: Junior
Position: SS; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-1; Weight: 171 pounds
Previously Drafted: Pittsburgh Pirates, 20th round, 2011
Background: The top collegiate shortstop, albeit in an incredibly thin crop, Turner positioned himself as a potential Top 10 pick in 2014 following an incredible sophomore season when he slugged .368/.455/.553 with 13 doubles, four triples and seven triples while showing off his trademark plus-speed by swiping 30 bags.
He followed that up with a poor showing on the USA Collegiate National Team during the summer, batting a Mario Mendoza-esque .211/.347/.263 with just three extra-base hits in 20 games.
This season, however, Turner’s failed to take any noticeable steps forward in any respect to his game – his walk rate, 13.3%, has remained nearly identical to his previous marks; he’s hitting for less power, running less, and his .856 OPS is a career low.
Projection: It’s nearly impossible to properly evaluate a collegiate player’s defensive abilities, analytically speaking, but the extremely raw data – .952 fielding percentage – certainly doesn’t scream defensive wiz. So, in all likelihood, his bat’s going to have to carry the load to the big leagues and, unfortunately, it hasn’t been all that impressive for the last year-plus.
He’s going to be an above-average base-stealer, showcasing plus-speed and a knack for a high success rate, but actual hit tool and patience look like average skills at this point. And it’s not likely that he’ll top 10 homeruns in a season either.
Turner’s a nice prospect, one with a league average or slightly better ceiling. And, really, how much separation is there between someone like Turner and some recent failed first round collegiate shortstops like Christian Colon or Deven Marrero?
Ceiling: 3.0- to 3.5-win player
Floor: 1.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate
Draft Projection: First/Second Round
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Reeves/WNCN via wfla.com.