The Tampa Bay Rays acquired 18-year-old second baseman Gionti Turner for Chih-Wei Hu on Monday. The young second baseman has a high ceiling, lets take a deeper look into the new Rays prospect.
Gionti Turner was the 27th round pick of the Cleveland Indians during this year’s draft. He would sign for 125,000, opting to begin his professional baseball career rather than continue his education at Three Rivers Community College. He was just acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays in Monday’s trade.
According to Jeff Ellis at 247sports.com
"“He is fast both with his feet and his wrists. He is a very skinny kid right now, but in spite of his lack of bulk he produced some good exit velocity numbers. He should stick at short and has the potential to be a starter down the road. He is very raw, and a player with a lot of variables blocking his route to the majors, but the tools are there for him to out play his draft position.”"
The skinny middle infielder will have time to bulk up as the Rays will look to develop him further. He jump started his professional career a good start in the Arizona League. There, he appeared in 46 games, hitting .296 (50-169) with a homer, ten doubles, and 2 triples.
He has shown a propensity to strikeout, but that is likely due to his mentality to swing early and often, putting himself in a hole right away. This same mentality has led to success for Turner as well as he jumps on first pitch fastballs.
According to Joseph Colbitz at thesportsdaily.com
"“Ultimately, he’ll have to learn to be more patient once he does get deep into the count, but his early swinging tendency is a great one that should continue to be successful.”"
He is an excellent runner, viewed as one of the fastest in the Arizona League. On the defensive side, Gionti can hold his own at second, but tends to get himself into trouble with his aggressiveness.
They moved him to centerfield at the end of the shortened season to keep him in the everyday lineup. There is a chance he could stick there with the Rays as he has a fantastic first step and the speed to stay in center, according to Colbitz.
Finally, Gionti Turner throws, hits, and runs at a 100% all the time and features a style of play that is impossible not to root for.
Jason Coblitz made an intriguing comparison, comparing Turner to Dee Gordon, who also features top of the line speed and a good bat, who has also made a rather easy transition to centerfield himself.
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It is hard not to like the new Rays prospect Gionti Turner. Rays Colored Glasses wishes him the best of luck as he looks to move his way up the Rays system. I would expect some big things out of the new kid in the years to come.