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 Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner in Draft

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PostSubject: Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner in Draft   Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:30 pm

MLB Draft Profile - Jacob Turner
From The Sports Network

Position: Pitcher

High School: Westminster Christian Academy

Year: Senior

Height: 6-5

Weight: 210

NOTES: Turner is one of the top high school right-handers in the draft, but still needs work on delivery and mechanics...Control and command will improve with more experience...His strong, athletic physique is a plus for major league scouts and his fastball hovers between 92-96 mph...He also has a slider and a changeup, which needs work since he does not use it very often...A possible mid first-round draft pick, Turner is a Scott Boras client and that could lead to problems negotiating with ballclubs...He is reportedly seeking a first-year salary much like what Josh Beckett got in 1999...The righty has already committed to North Carolina.

06/03 14:21:06 ET

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–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner in Draft   Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:38 pm

HIGH SCHOOL RANKINGS
BaseballAmerica.com

Rank - Player, Pos - State
1 - Donavan Tate, of - GA
2 - Tyler Matzek, lhp - CA
3 - Matt Purke, lhp - TX
4 - Jacob Turner, rhp - MO
5 - Shelby Miller, rhp - TX


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner in Draft   Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:54 pm

Jacob Turner



School: Westminster Christian Academy (Missouri)

Class: HS Senior

Height: 6′4″

Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Position: rhp

Hometown: St. Charles, MO

Commitment: North Carolina

Previously Drafted: None

Strengths:
Turner temps scouts with what he has right now and intrigues them with what he could develop. His fastball sits in the low 90s, topping out at 94 mph, and he has a very good curveball. He also has a big, strong frame at 6-foot-4 that makes some scouts believe that he could consistently throw in the mid 90s in a few years.

Weaknesses:

The team that drafts Turner will bet that he will improve his fastball velocity in the minor leagues. His present stuff isn’t good enough for a prolonged major league career. His command is average at best.

The Future:

Turner is part of a second-tier of high school pitchers. He could get over drafted in the supplemental or second rounds, but he's a project and would benefit by spending three years in Chapel Hill.

Video:



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PostSubject: Re: Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner in Draft   Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:14 am

Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner
Missouri right-hander has parallels to Porcello

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

06/09/09 8:55 PM ET

The Tigers went back to the high school pitching ranks for their first pick in the First-Year Player Draft, selecting right-hander Jacob Turner out of Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis with the ninth overall pick.

Turner, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound workhorse pitcher, fits the kind of profile the Tigers covet. His power arm consistently fires fastballs in the mid- to upper-90s, while he has added a curveball and changeup to his arsenal in the last couple years.

That power arsenal produced an impressive round of statistics during Turner's high school career. He finished his high school season with a 7-2 record and an 0.60 ERA, striking out 113 batters over 58 1/3 innings with 13 walks. Among the individual games was a one-hit, 18-strikeout performance. Turner spent last summer on the U.S. under-18 national team.

The right-hander caught the Tigers' attention in the spring and maintained it through much of the prep season. While Detroit scouted plenty of talent in preparation for the big pick, Turner always seemed to stay at or near the top of the list.

"The Tigers organization is pleased to select Jacob Turner today," Tigers scouting director David Chadd said in a statement. "He has a power arm and we're excited to add a pitcher of his caliber and potential to our system."

Among the high school ranks, many saw Turner the same way. Several publications ranked him among the top prep hurlers available. As it turned out, Turner was the third high school pitcher selected after Matthew Hobgood and Zach Wheeler went fifth and sixth overall, respectively.

The biggest risk in the First-Year Player Draft used to be the high school right-hander, whether for risk of injury or for the uncertainty of development. The Tigers went against that trend by drafting Rick Porcello in the first round two years ago, a move that paid off big when he cracked the Tigers' rotation this spring at age 20.

Detroit would love to repeat history, but it's always considered Porcello the exception to the rule when it comes to the advancement of high school pitchers into the pros. The secondary pitches should work to Turner's advantage, but he'll have to work them into his game to a degree he didn't need against high school hitters.

Like Porcello two years ago, Turner has committed to pitch collegiately at North Carolina and has retained the services of super agent Scott Boras as his adviser. Whether he follows through on that remains to be seen. The Tigers will have until Aug. 17 to sign him or risk losing him.

Though questions about the Tigers and signability concerns floated during the day Tuesday, Chadd's stance didn't change. He said Tuesday afternoon that they would have the same approach as always, taking whom they felt was the best talent available.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner in Draft   Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:59 pm

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
MLB Draft
Again, Tigers roll dice by drafting acclaimed prep pitcher
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Detroit -- A big pitcher with a blazing fastball again was too tempting for the Tigers on Tuesday when they made Jacob Turner, a 6-foot-5 right-hander from St. Louis, Mo., their first-round pick in the baseball draft.

Turner's fastball regularly hit 96 mph and reportedly reached 98 his senior year at Westminster Christian Academy as he became, in most eyes, the top high school right-hander in the land. Neither his expected price tag of $7 million-plus, nor his commitment to the University of North Carolina, scared away the Tigers when they chose Turner at No. 9.

"He's an excellent athlete with a lot of power to his pitches," said David Chadd, vice president of amateur scouting for the Tigers. "He has a fastball up to 96, plus a breaking ball, and control of all his pitches. And he's just a strong-makeup individual that's exactly what we were looking for at 9."

The Tigers were believed to be targeting Turner in a draft unpredictable outside of No. 1 selection Stephen Strasburg, who was taken by the Nationals.

The state of flux and subsequent surprises were such that the Tigers were left with a dreamy choice between Turner and the pitcher considered the top prep left-hander, Tyler Matzek, who originally was pegged to go within the first six picks.

Matzek instead was selected by the Rockies at No. 11.

Turner is viewed as having a splendid pitching delivery that could make him a durable pitcher who, barring injury, should reach the majors in reasonable time.

"For me, it starts with his delivery," said Chadd, who with his scouts has been following Turner the past year. "We felt as an organization that his delivery is sound, very clean arm action, with power. His fastball was plus, he has command of his breaking ball, and also command of the change-up.

"You're also talking about a high school pitcher with durability, with three pitches in the mix right now. There's not a lot of tinkering with Jacob."

Turner's parents, it was believed, preferred their son opt for an early career at Chapel Hill.

But their son's desire to pitch professionally, and the likely financial security the Tigers will be committing, is believed to have persuaded the family the big leagues are worthwhile.

"The whole season my Plan A has been North Carolina," said Turner, 18, who clearly rehearsed his response to perfection. "That's the only thing that's been guaranteed to me. The only thing that changed today is instead of one option I have two options."

He's advised by Scott Boras.

Teams have until Aug. 17 to reach an agreement with draft picks. If no agreement is reached, high school players are free to attend college and are not eligible to be drafted for three years.

The draft continues through Thursday.

lynn.henning@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers nab prep workhorse Turner in Draft   Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:43 pm

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
MLB Draft
Tigers add left-hander, third baseman to draft haul
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Detroit -- After bringing yet another big, hard-throwing pitcher into their fold in the person of first-round pick Jacob Turner, the Tigers naturally went after another tall flame-thrower in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft on Tuesday night.

With the 58th overall pick, they took Andy Oliver, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-hander from Oklahoma State.

Detroit went for a third baseman in the third round: 6-4, 213-pound Wade Gaynor, a right-handed hitter who this year became the first Western Kentucky player to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases.

Oliver, 21, gave the Tigers a left-hander to book-end with the right-hand Turner, the St. Louis, Mo., prep star who was taken ninth overall by Detroit. Oliver has a fastball that cruised as high as 98 mph during a junior season that was pock-marked by problems on and off the mound.

His hassles away from the diamond had to do with the NCAA. Oliver was suspended for allegedly being represented by an agent, but after a year-long court fight, his suspension was overturned in February.

Whether the court-room skirmish with the NCAA caused him to lose his breaking pitches was subject to debate. But what everyone in Stillwater, Okla., knew was that Oliver's once-deadly change-up seemed to disappear during an up-and-down junior season.

He was 5-6 as a starting pitcher for the Cowboys with a 5.30 ERA. But his fastball was healthy enough to have struck out 97 in 88 innings.

The trick for minor league roving pitching instructor Jon Matlack will be to work with Oliver on his secondary pitches, assuming the Tigers sign him by the Aug. 17 deadline.

His fastball-change combination is considered a potential potent mix if Oliver ends up as a reliever. But the development of a slider or curveball that never seemed to evolve at Oklahoma State will be the greater challenge for Oliver and the Tigers farm staff.

Gaynor, 21, the Western Kentucky slugger, earned some showcase time in this year's NCAA baseball tournament. He finished the season with a .371 average, .457 on-base percentage and a whopping slugging percentage of .781. He struck out only 41 times in 62 games.

One local player was selected. Louisiana State infielder DJ LeMahieu, who was a prep star at Birmingham Brother Rice, went No. 79 overall to the Cubs. He was drafted by the Tigers in the 41st round in 2007 as a high schooler, but didn't sign. LeMahieu is hitting .340 as a sophomore for LSU, which plays Virginia on Saturday in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The draft continues today with rounds 4-30 and concludes Thursday with rounds 31-50.

lynn.henning@detnews.com


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