North Carolina State’s Trea Turner. Mandatory Credit: bigleaguefutures.net
Many fans and draft experts had Trea Turner coming to the Padres at the 13 pick, and sure enough, he fell to them. The reaction among Padres fans was positive, excited to get a potential cornerstone shortstop. Turner was projected to go much earlier in the draft a few weeks ago, but some concerns about his hit tool worried teams enough that he was able to fall, and the Padres weren’t going to let a potential All-Star fall past them.
Trea Turner is a fascinating draft prospect. His speed is among the best in the entire class, and his defense at shortstop is unparalleled. Turner is a great athlete whose tools play up because of it. The only problem with Turner is his offensive ceiling. There’s little to no power in the bat, and the contact skills are troublesome. His long stride leaves him vulnerable to off-speed pitches, and he tends to get out in front even on fastballs.
, here is a great video profiling some highlights while at NC State. The bat speed is excellent, and he stays controlled through the swing despite the large leg separation and violent swing movement. There’s hope that he could be a high average hitter, but his ceiling may be closer to .260-.280, which would still work fine at the top of the order. The swing isn’t geared for power, but Turner is strong for his size. He could reach double digit homers in his peak, but not much more than that.
His speed grades out as an easy 80, elite. The video makes it clear just how much of a game changer it truly is. He puts down a pretty bad bunt and still is able to beat it out for a single, and he also is able to expand his range to the middle of the infield to track down grounders. His ability to read pitchers and steal bases is reminiscent of Jacoby Ellsbury, one of the best in the game today. His athleticism pays off by getting great jumps out of the box, even for a right hander, and being able to turn tough grounders and line drives into outs. His natural defense ability is solid, but the athlete and runner he is makes it special.
Turner’s ceiling with the Padres will be a top of the order catalyst for the lineup, and team. He has the ability to get on base consistently, and is in scoring position on first base. He will disrupt defenses and pitchers with his proficiency on the basepaths, and help the Friars learn what it feels like to actually score runs. There’s still a lot of work to be done, as his contact skills need be be toned up, and he needs to be able to adjust to offspeed pitches. But the future is bright for the young Trea Turner, and Padres fans should be ecstatic with the pick.