Miami Marlins Prospect Jacob Turner Continues to Sit and Wait
Jacob Turner sits and waits. The former 1st round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers (9th overall), Turner was the main prize in a trade with the Miami Marlins that brought the Tigers back shortstop, Omar Infante, and starting pitcher, Anibal Sanchez; two keys players who played pivotal roles for the Tigers during their postseason run last year. Infante and Sanchez are continuing to have good season with the Tigers this 2013 campaign.
Turner meanwhile, continues to sit and wait. Currently with the New Orleans Zephyrs (triple-A affiliate for the Marlins), he has posted a 3-4 win-loss record, with a 4.47 ERA, 12 BBs, 31 K’s, and a 1.29 WHIP thus far this season. But it’s what he’s done of late that makes him on the verge of possibly getting his first call-up of this 2013 season. In his last 6 starts (dating back to April 22nd), Turner has pitched at least 6 innings in each of those games, only allowing 3 ERs in his first two starts of that stretch, and allowing 2 ERs in each of his last 4 starts, which are good number considering that the Pacific Coast League (PCL) is known for being a hitters league with a number of hitter-friendly ballparks.
In an interview I did with Turner while the Zephyrs were in town to face the Sacramento River Cats, he attributes his recent success to a better commanding of his fastball.
Listen to Jacob Turner Interview:
I fully inspect to see Turner up in the big leagues sooner rather than later. The Marlins are currently sitting in last place of the NL East division, with a record of 13-32, tied with the Houston Astros for worst record in all of major league baseball. They are rapidly approaching the time were they would start to sell off players for prospects and give there young guys a chance to play, getting them primed and ready for the big leagues next season.
While the Marlins pitching overall hasn’t been the sole cause of their demise (overall – 17th ERA, 21st QS, 23rd WHIP, 23rd BAA), I’m sure they can find suitors who would trade them a decent prospect or two for the likes of starting pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Slowey. So the old adage applies here: If they aren’t helping you win now, you might as well ship them off and get prospects in return who may be able to help you win in the future. It is also worth noting that Nolasco is in the final year of his contract, making $11.5 million dollars this season, so that makes him even more attractive to a team who is locked up in a division or playoff race that might be in need of some starting pitching help.
Furthermore, this wouldn’t even be Turner’s first go-around in the big leagues. Last season while with the Tigers and Marlins, Turner made 10 starts (3 with the Tigers, 7 with the Marlins) going 2-5 in the win-loss column with a 4.42 ERA, 16 BBs, 36 Ks, and a 1.20 WHIP. While those numbers aren’t impressive, at 22 years old, there is still some promise left in that right arm. In the 7 games he pitched for the Marlins after he was traded last season, he posted a 3.38 ERA with a .98 WHIP, and a BAbip (Batting Avg. on Balls in play) of .222. He also showed good control, only allowing 9 BB’s while racking up 29 K’s.
The Marlins have position themselves well on the starting pitching front. Early season call-up of top prospect, Jose Fernandez, looks to be the real-deal in terms of being that front-line ace to their rotation. Add other top pitching prospects like Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi along with Turner, and you can build yourself a pretty good starting rotation going forward into the future. But for now, Turner continues to sit and wait.