Spencer Turnbull Drafted By Detroit Tigers

Alabama right-handed pitcher Spencer Turnbull was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the second round of the 2014 First-Year Major League Baseball Draft Thursday. Turnbull was the 63rd selection.

Spencer Turnbull had been expected to be the first Alabama baseball player taken in the 2014 draft. The 6-4, 230-pounder from Madison, Miss., has just completed his junior season at Bama.

There was no more misleading statistic in Alabama baseball this year than Turnbull's record of 5-7. He was the Crimson Tide Friday starter in the Southeastern Conference weekend rotation, meaning he was going up against the top pitchers from opposing teams, and Bama bats were often ineffective in those games. Turnbull had a 2.22 earned run average. In 93 1/3 innings, Turnbull allowed 61 hits and struck out 61. Opponents batted just .192 against him.

In his three-year career at Alabama, Turnbull took the mound in 45 games including 40 times as a starter. He has a 3.54 career ERA after posting a 5.60 ERA as a freshman and a 3.70 ERA in 2013. Turnbull appeared in 236 1/3 innings, recording 157 strikeouts while allowing opponents to hit .245 against him.

With Turnbull's selection as the 63rd pick in the 2014 MLB draft, he is the highest drafted Crimson Tide player since 2006 when Wade LeBlanc was selected in the second round by the San Diego Padres with the 61st overall pick. Alabama has now had a player selected in each of the last 36 MLB drafts, dating back to 1979.

Turnbull has been primarily a fast ball pitcher. His pitches have been consistently timed at 93-95 miles per hour.

After the first two rounds Thursday, the draft will continue today with rounds 3-10. Saturday will have rounds 11-40.

Turnbull will certainly by-pass his senior season at Alabama. Others who just completed their junior seasons and might opt for professional baseball over returning to the Tide include right fielder Ben Moore, pitchers Justin Kamplain and Taylor Gilbeau, and catcher Wade Wass.

First baseman Austen Smith, who completed four years at Bama, is also expected to be drafted.

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