Milwaukee Brewers: What are the early returns on Brice Turang?

(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Brewers selected shortstop Brice Turang with the 21st overall pick in July’s draft. He’s still a long way away from the Majors, but we have 42 professional games to look at.

Brice Turang was a projected as a possible top-5 pick in off season, but he slid to the Milwaukee Brewers at pick #21 in July. Were the other teams right to pass on Turang, or did the Brewers get excellent value? It’s way too early to know exactly, but there are several positives from Turang’s first taste of professional baseball.

How did Turang do this year?

Turang signed quickly, and went to the Milwaukee Brewers Rookie League team in Arizona. He only stuck around for 13 games before getting reassigned to Helena where he played 29 games.

In 42 total games this year, Turang posted a .283/.396/.352 slash line with one homer and 14 steals in 16 tries. He scored 37 times and drove in 18. He also managed six doubles and one triple.

Which number jumps out?

The .396 on-base percentage is impressive for an 18-year old in his first professional season. Turang posted a 34:31 K:BB ratio, meaning he only struck out three more times than he walked. That’s a lot of strikeouts in 42 games, but it’s also a lot of walks. It’s clear that he won’t have quite the same learning curve when it comes to plate discipline that most young hitters have.

The speed also showed up in actual games as evidenced by his stolen base totals. Turang isn’t as toolsy as prospects like Corey Ray or Tristen Lutz, but he is a capable runner.

Are there concerns?

Not really. He’s 18 years old and a long way away from the Majors. However, he did strike out a lot and only managed eight extra base hits. He’ll need to develop more power if he’s going to strike out that much.

Where should he start 2019?

Turang is a solid bet to return to Rookie ball to start next year, but he could make it to a full-season league before the end of the year. Turang won’t rocket through the system, but he should progress at a reasonable pace. Going back to Rookie ball doesn’t mean he’s a bust at all. It just means he has to develop a little more before making it to Low-A.

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It’s clear that the Milwaukee Brewers drafted Turang knowing he’s not going to make it to the Majors until 2022 at the earliest. There’s a lot to like about Turang, but he also has a lot to learn.