As I get a little more information on some of the Tigers 2012 non-premium Tigers picks, I will try and get some profiles up to give you all an idea on what type of players they are. One of the players that fits the bill as a guy that is a long shot to make it to the majors is Josh Turley. He does have a chance though, and there is some reason for that, but is going to fight the non-prospect label all the way up the ladder.
Turley is a left-handed pitcher out of Baylor University that was drafted in the 17th round in June this year. At just 6’0 and 180 pounds, Turley isn’t a big imposing threat on the mound. As a college junior at Baylor, he was a starter, pitching effectively, and leading Baylor with a walk rate of just over one batter per 9 innings. After signing with the Tigers, he was assigned to Connecticut of the New York Penn League, where he has put up some pretty numbers so far. Pitching as a reliever for the C-Tigers, Turley has posted a miniscule ERA of 0.74 in 9 games, covering 24.1 innings. Turley has allowed just 14 hits, while striking out 19 batters and only walking 4. So far as a pro, Turley has been able to generate a good amount of ground balls.
He turns 22 years old next week Sunday.
Turley isn’t what we would call a power pitcher by any stretch. In fact, his fastball velocity is what is always going to keep him on the fringe. Turley sits in the mid 80′s for the most part with his fastball, and touches 89 on occasion. There isn’t any projection here, so it is what it’s going to be in 2 years as well. The positive is that Turley shows quality command of his fastball to both sides of the plate, and has the ability to cut it in on the hands of right-handed hitters. There isn’t much room for error obviously, and his fastball command will always be the most important thing as he moves up the ladder.
Turley’s best secondary pitch is his change up, and it rates as an above average offering. He throws the pitch with good arm speed and gets a little bit of arm-side fade to it.
Turley also throws a curve ball as well. This pitch isn’t a hammer by any stretch and more of a pitch that he will throw for strikes instead of using it to get swings and misses. His curve has average potential going forward, and like his other two pitches, he can command it as well.
There is a little bit of deception to the delivery, and his pitching smarts will help his average stuff play up.
Turley is the very definition of a fringe prospect. He is going to have to prove himself every step of the way, simply because the amount of successful pitchers in the big leagues that sit 85-88 with their fastball are few in far between. That doesn’t mean he can’t. Turley has a habit of producing despite his limited stuff, using moxy and command as weapons to get by.
What we have with Turley is a very similar profile to AAA pitcher Adam Wilk. Wilk has gotten his cup of coffee, but we can also see his limitations. I suspect that the reason Turley is relieving right now is that the Tigers just want to limit his workload.
Turley is a guy I just can’t get too excited about, but we could very well see moving up the ladder really quickly. He should handle low A and even high A hitters rather well.