Draft Preview: Trea Turner

(Photo: College Baseball Daily)

(Photo: College Baseball Daily)

Trea Turner
School: North Carolina State
Position: SS
Height/Weight: 6‘1”, 170
B/T: R/R
D.O.B.: 06/30/1993
Previously Drafted: 2011- 20 (602) Pittsburgh Pirates

Scouting Reports:
High School:
Turner was drafted out of high school by the Pirates in the 20th round but rejected their offer of over $500k to attend N.C. State. He was seen as a weak slap hitter with great speed at SS.

College:
Trea Turner is possibly the fastest player in this year’s draft class and his speed grades out as a true 80. Baseball America are a little concerned about his ability to hit, saying that his “swing remains long and sweepy” and that “most scouts consider him a bottom-of-the-order candidate as a big league offensive player.” He has some home run potential, but as BA notes, “His sneaky power gets him in trouble, causing his swing to get big and his approach to be too pull-oriented”. Defensively he’s a near certainty to stick at SS where his speed gives him plus range and his arm strength is adequate.

“Turner stands out most for his top-of-the-scale speed. With his wheels and ability to make contact and control the strike zone, he has the tools to become a quality leadoff. The key will be toning down his swing, which can get long, and his approach, which can get a little out of control. He can get home run-conscious and would be best served by focusing on getting on base, where his speed and instincts make him a prime basestealing threat. He has the quickness and arm strength to stick at shortstop”. –MLB.com

“He's an 80 runner that has the actions and lateral quickness to stick at shortstop long-term where his above average to plus arm plays. He's a fluid athlete with a smooth swing and a good sense of the strike zone, leaving his only weakness being his lack of raw power. His game power is developed thanks to his sound swing and advanced approach but his power ceiling is in the low double digits annually”. –Kiley McDaniel, Scout.com

“Outstanding speed. Good defender at short. There is strength in his swing. It wouldn't be crazy to say he could hit 20 home runs some day. His speed is elite. Exciting player”. -MinorLeagueBall

Scouting Grades:
Note: these grades are my summations based on all readily available scouting information from sources such as Baseball America, MLB.com and ESPN (Present/Future, 20-80 scale):

Hit: 45/50
Power: 40/50
Run: 80/80
Arm: 55/55
Field: 55/55
Overall: 55

Prospect Overview and Future Outlook:
Many fans were pining for the Sox to take Trea Turner entering this season, but an up-and-down year has caused his stock to slip and he isn’t seen as a worthy target at #3 anymore. Kiley McDaniel at scout.com was even playing him up as a potential 1-1 guy. The White Sox have reportedly shown interest in Turner in the past though, so he’s a name worth keeping in mind.

As with Nick Gordon, Turner’s offensive upside may be limited, but he offers a lot of potential value through his elite speed, arm and defensive ability at SS. Both his hit and power tools could wind up being below average, with the hit tool ahead of the power at this point. Some reports suggest he could be a 15 HR guy in time though. He’s capable of making good contact when he isn’t trying to hit home runs, and may be best off focusing on making contact and fully utilizing his speed. He’s also shown a good proclivity for drawing walks, which works extremely well with his skillset, and would be a great boost to his offensive value in pro ball.

Turner’s upside is that of a true leadoff hitter with 50+ SB potential, the ability to make decent contact, draw some walks and hit for useful pop. The lower end projection would see him as a .250/.320/.360 type bat that would play in the lower part of the order.

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