One Man’s Jacob Turner Is Another Man’s Martin Perez
In a perplexing decision by a Marlins team with Brad Hand listed as its fourth starter, Miami designated 23-year old Jacob Turner for assignment. Quickly claimed by the Chicago Cubs, the former first round pick has an opportunity to right the ship for a last place team. But was Turner so terrible to begin with? 1976 statistical analysis says yes, but 2014 measures used at ROTOscouting points to a pitcher with peripherals similar to Rangers Martin Perez who signed a contract through 2017 with three option years this past off-season.
A look at recent trades between the Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins shows the “Fish” have served as a Triple-A franchise for a team with three consecutive division titles and an American League pennant. In 2012, Jacob Turner was a key piece in a deal which sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit. Since donning the blue and orange Sanchez has accumulated 10-plus WAR in approximately two years with a Hall Of Fame quality 6.3 wins in 2013.
As for the Turner, just six of his 53 career appearances were with Detroit before the trade deadline deal. As of his final game for the Marlins, Jacob Turner had 0.9 WAR over his career. And while this is disappointing, a look into the right-hander’s peripherals show a pitcher who’s improved this season. At an age when pitching prospects are developing at the Double-A level, the former top-100 prospect was holding his own against MLB opponents — even with a 5.97 ERA.
Player MLB Season Player Age K/9 BB/9 HR/9 GB% BABIP xFIP Difference 0.2 +.12 -.04 -.17 +3.2 +.076 -.11 Jacob Turner 2014 23.2 6.20 2.64 0.92 51.3 .368 3.93 Martin Perez 2013 23.4 6.08 2.68 1.09 48.1 .292 4.04
Admittedly, Rangers left-hander Martin Perez was a year younger than Jacob Turner when posting nearly identical numbers. So while it’s safe to say he’s better than the Cubs’ newest pitching project, does a year equal the difference between the penthouse and outhouse? Either something more is in play with Jacob Turner, or Miami made a knee jerk baseball decision based on bad luck (.368 BABIP) and old school baseball statistics (5.97 ERA)
Having not seen a Turner appearance in 2014, his BABIP may be a result of pitches being barreled frequently. But if this mid-season report is correct, the Marlins defense plus Turner’s ground ball heavy arsenal is a recipe for disaster. Having caught pitchers playing in front of poor defenses, memories of prior mistakes can leave a pitcher shell-shocked and fearful of pitching to personal strengths.
Jacob Turner And Perception
Player perception is another interesting factor in this decision. Prospect Jose Urena is suddenly a shooting star in the Marlins organization after a stellar Double-A campaign, yet the right-hander is less than four months younger than Jacob Turner, a pitcher who made his MLB debut before Urena pitched an inning of full season baseball. In fact, Turner is younger than five pitchers on MLB.com’s top-100 update and nearly identical in age to 2013 1st round picks Mark Appel and Andrew Heaney. Translate Turner’s MLB peripherals to the Double-A or Triple-A level and the right-hander would still be a top-100 prospect.
For Chicago, Turner falling into their lap is a gift from the baseball gods. Maybe the right-hander never becomes the front line starter expected of a ninth overall pick in his draft class, but it doesn’t matter. His maintaining current peripherals in front of better infield defense equals a fourth starter with just over a year of service time. A big score when Martin Perez is set for life after signing a team friendly extension.
In fantasy baseball, consider Jacob Turner a rock bottom buy low candidate. Remember, the sweet spot for all but guaranteed success from a starting pitcher is seven or more strikeouts per nine innings, three or less walker per nine innings and a ground ball rate above 50-percent. Turner’s 2014 is in the sweet spot for two of the three benchmarks at a time when he’s widely considered an underachiever.
7 Aug 2014 / Mike Newman /
Categories: MLB Analysis
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?