The Chicago White Sox signed 10 undrafted free agent players and drafted a bunch of others. Here, we are going to take a little bit close look at catcher Michael Turner. The White Sox brought in a lot of different players via the draft which is amazing. Their Minor League system now has more talent in it as a result.
Will that talent ever make it to the Major Leagues? Let’s find out as we look at Turner (one of the prospects that the White Sox drafted in the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft last month) and see how he might work out for the Sox in the future. Turner was drafted in the 9th round 281st overall by the Sox.
Turner, as previously mentioned, is a catcher. He played his high school baseball in Warren, Ohio at Champion High School. Baseball runs in the family for Turner as his father was a draft pick of the New York Yankees. He played eight years of professional baseball.
This young prospect started his collegiate baseball career with Kent State in Ohio. He began playing with the team as a freshman in 2018 and saw action in 29 games with 22 starts. While he didn’t add any accolades to his resume during his first year in college, he was prepping himself for a solid collegiate sophomore season.
For that sophomore season, Turner finally started to get some notice from others in the Midwestern Athletic Conference and was named MAC Player of the Week twice. In addition to that, he earned a spot on the 2019 All-MAC first team.
The Chicago White Sox are hoping to get something out of Michael Turner.
His batting average that season was .369. He managed to hit the ball 52 times with 42 RBIs to go along with 22 runs brought in. Turner was a highlight machine and proved his worth as one of the top players in college baseball. However, this would be his best collegiate season.
The 2020 season, his as a junior at Kent State, saw him man the catcher position for the first time. His hitting wasn’t as productive as it was the year before and perhaps that was because of the position switch and having to put his mind into that or something else. It is important to note that, in addition to catching, Turner did play a little third and first base.
His senior season at Kent State saw him play a little bit better as he started in all 25 games that he took part in playing in. Incidentally, he played catcher in all those games. His slash line was impressive in those games as he recorded a .337/.439/.640 line with a solid 30 hits and runs to go along with a couple of triples and five doubles.
One other item to note is that he was a bit of a base stealer and while he didn’t rack up Major League-type numbers, he did steal five bases during his senior season and was only caught stealing once.
In 2022, Turner attended Graduate School at Arkansas and he excelled there. In his 291 plate appearances, he had 251 at-bats. He slashed .323/.403/.489 while hitting the ball a total of 83 times driving in 53 runs.
Turner himself scored 40 runs and had nine homers but only stole one base which is kind of surprising for a guy that had success stealing bases in the past. Finally, Tuner was struck out 49 times in his tenure with the Razorbacks.
Turner is not only an interesting prospect on the field but off it. He got himself into a bit of hot water after his team made an early exit from the Southeastern Conference Championship Tournament this year.
He had a few harsh words for a teammate of his. But in general, most observations have Turner as being a pretty good teammate and someone that is a hard worker.
Being someone that isn’t a little tighter-lipped with the kind of comments that he made isn’t going to make Turner popular in the clubhouse and in the dugout. He is going to have to watch the kinds of things that he says in the Minor Leagues or he is never going to make it to the Majors.
It will be interesting to see how Turner develops over the course of his Minor League career. The first thing he needs to do is make sure that he respects his teammates and doesn’t call them out as he did during his year at Arkansas.
If he needs to make comments like that, he should pull the player aside and talk to him in private. Turner will not gain the trust of his teammates if he is bashing them.
Turner will get his shot in the White Sox farm system right away and has the tools to excel. He just needs to get consistent which is something he wasn’t terribly good at in college at Kent State.
One year he was All-Conference and the next he was not even close to being named to an All-Conference team. Consistency is vital in the Major Leagues and if you cannot be consistent, you aren’t going to last long.
In looking at his track record, it will be surprising if he ever cracks a Major League lineup for the White Sox. He isn’t consistent enough to really be able to catch the eye of his Major League bosses for them to give him a shot at playing with the big boys.