Tigers prospects Jacob Turner and Francisco Martinez have been teammates this season with the Double-A Erie SeaWolves. On July 10, at Chase Field in Arizona, the two will play against each other when the USA team takes on the world roster in the Futures Game to showcase the best of the minor league talent.
Martinez, a third baseman, has had a hot bat all season long. He’s currently hitting .291 in 60 games with Erie, while leading the Wolves with seven home runs and 34 RBI. Playing this season at just 20 years old, Baseball America summed up Martinez’s selection as follows:
"Martinez jumped from the Gulf Coast League to high Class A in 2009 and has handled Double-A this season at age 20. He has prototype tools for third base, including a quick bat with power."
Turner, who is just 19, has been perhaps even more impressive with Erie than Martinez has. In 12 starts this year, he’s yielded only 65 hits over 79.2 innings and fanned 64 batters. His WHIP is a sterling 1.08. His record stands at 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA. Baseball America had this to say about Turner:
"Turner was one of the top arms in the 2009 draft but fell to the ninth overall pick, where Detroit was happy to grab him. He has everything needed to pitch at the top of a big league rotation."
This is an outstanding achievement for a pair of guys playing at an advanced level for their age. The roster of future stars on both sides should make the 2011 Future Game a must-see event for baseball fans everywhere.
Though the Tigers have pushed both player aggressively with their assignments, the results have been more than encouraging and suggest that both players could be a factor in Detroit as early as next season, but most definitely by 2013.