Here's some more information on infielder Justin Turner, whom the Orioles recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Brian Roberts on the active roster while the second baseman goes on the disabled list, courtesy of Orioles Insider's own Dean Jones Jr., who wrote about Turner in January 2009:Speaking of trades, in case you forgot, the Orioles picked up two prospects along with utility player Ryan Freel in the deal that sent Ramon Hernandez to the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the offseason.
Let's talk about one of the prospects – Justin Turner – during today's discussion. I'm assuming most Orioles fans don't know much about Turner, other than what I posted when the trade occurred.
Here is what MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo said about Turner following the deal.
The Reds selected the 5-foot-11, 180-pound infielder in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB draft.
Turner hit .338 with six home runs and 41 RBIs for the rookie-level Billings Mustangs during his first professional season in 2006. He had 12 stolen bases and 16 doubles in 60 games, while striking out 38 times.
The 24-year-old second baseman, who can also play shortstop, third base and in the outfield, batted .311 with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs in 117 games for the Single-A Dayton Dragons during the 2007 season. Turner had 25 doubles, four triples and 12 stolen bases for the Dragons.
Last season, Turner split time between the Single-A Sarasota Reds and the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. He hit .316 with 11 RBIs and 23 runs scored in 33 games for Sarasota before being promoted to Chattanooga. Turner batted .289 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 78 games for the Lookouts. He also spent some time on the disabled list after colliding with a teammate during a game in June.
Defensively, Turner has committed 31 errors in 294 minor league games. His worst season was in 2007, when he made 14 errors for Dayton. He made nine errors in 2008.
So, what are your expectations for Turner during the 2009 season? Depending on how the organizational depth chart shakes out during spring training, Turner could start the season with the Double-A Bowie Baysox or the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.
Personally, I'd like to see him as the starting second baseman for the Tides. He could solidify his position as the team's top prospect at the position with solid offensive numbers in Triple-A. Turner could eventually be the replacement for Brian Roberts if the Orioles are unable to sign the veteran second baseman to a long-term deal.
I'm going to be optimistic and say that Turner will hit .300 with 10-15 home runs and 60-70 RBIs for the Tides. Look for him to be among the league leaders in doubles and runs scored.