Tigers Scouting Report: RHP Spencer Turnbull

After breaking the norm and taking a high school outfielder, the Tigers returned to their comfort zone in the second round, snagging power right-hander Spencer Turnbull out of Alabama. Turnbull has been a starter for the Crimson Tide, but could he become another fast-moving reliever?

Spencer Turnbull

Vitals

Position: Right-handed Pitcher


Date of Birth: 9/18/1992
Height/Weight: 6-4/240
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft, 2nd Round
Ranking History: N/A

Background: A power hurler with three years of college experience for Alabama, logging over 90 innings as the team's ace. Drafted in the 2nd round, his slot bonus is just above $900,000.

Scouting Report

Body: Physical guy; needs to tighten with a pro workout routine; thicker lower half that provides power; chance to eat innings but has to turn mass into strength.

Delivery/Mechanics: Aggressive; still more thrower than pitcher; has some violence throughout but that also gives him deception; inconsistent from balance point to release at times; arm action isn't clean but seems to work for him.

Fastball: Generates angle with pitch; ball comes out easy and deceives hitters; easy 91-94, touches 95-97 mph with life; needs to locate better; FB can overpower hitters at times; two-seam can move a ton and be difficult to barrel; four-seam works up in the zone with velo; potential easy plus pitch but doesn't play to level quite yet. Grade – Present 5+/Future 6

Slider: Really improved over last year; tighten slurvy breaker to hard slider; sharper, shorter break at this point; spins it on occasion but still needs polish with pitch; has above-average potential but needs some consistency in overall quality; minor tweaks will get him there with pitch. Grade – 5/5+

Cutter: Relatively new pitch; still learning how to throw it and use it; occasionally effective; arm action works with pitch; comes out with velocity and movement; could be effective against both side hitters; will need a year or two for pitch to come; potential average offering. Grade – 3+/5

Changeup: Lags behind other three pitches; feel just isn't there; frequently too firm; doesn't trust grip and will slow arm; needs to develop pitch and feel; don't see projection with offering; show-me pitch when it comes together; doesn't provide change of pace. Grade – 3/4

Control/Command: Comes and goes; can keep FB in strike zone; will work to knees with some consistency; has trouble pulling ball to glove side at times; SL/CH control lag FB control; mechanical profile doesn't allow for significant command projection; likely fringy command at best but could be strike thrower that avoids walks.

Other: Keeps working at body; has work ethic; still more thrower than pitcher; needs polish; likes to attack and flash competitiveness.



Final Word

Summary: FB/SL could play to above-average or plus level and give him two legitimate MLB pitches; cutter has potential but still raw and could play well off FB; CH is not there and may not come to effective level; pitchability is a concern; aggressive guy with delivery issues.

Risk: High risk; Still needs innings and experience; likely reliever without significant progress from CH; not typical experienced SEC arm.

Projection: Some clubs believe Turnbull can start but the FB-SL more likely plays in relief role; durable kid that should pitch back-to-back days and could pile up innings as a starter; can handle Low-A in opening season and should reach upper levels quickly; potential for 2016 MLB debut, particularly if moved to bullpen full time.

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