The Minnesota Twins have plenty of promising arms. Nik Turley is surprisingly turning heads and setting records on his way.
Over the years of losing it has been well documented that the Minnesota Twins desperately needed an upgrade from the pitching side of the roster. For years fans dealt with pitch to contact guys in an era where velocity and strikeouts were king.
Finally it seems the Titanic is turning and there are guys who fit the current mold of major league pitchers in the Twins’ system.
There is longing to see Jose Berrios get his chance to prove himself again in the majors. There is hope for Kohl Stewart get healthy and regain the velocity reported in high school before he was drafted. Also hope for guys like Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero to get the chance to show their stuff at the big league level.
There has been a surprising pitching storyline out of the minor leagues this year that no fan was ready for. That comes from nearly forgotten left hander Nik Turley. Turley busted onto fans’ radar for the first time through the reports of his Southern League tying, 14 strikeout perform for the Twins’ Double-A affiliate the Chattanooga Lookouts.
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Truly is a 6-4, 195 pound Californian who was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2008. From 2008-2016, he bounced around the minors finding time with minor league affiliates of the San Fransisco Giants and Boston Red Sox in addition to the Yankees. It was in 2016 that Turley found himself playing independent ball in the Atlantic League for the Somerset Patriots.
And now in the early parts of 2017, Turley is finding success with the Lookouts. He has to be hoping to be included in the list of pitchers fans and the Twins organization long to see pitch at Target Field. Turley is doing his part by in his 20.1 innings pitch recording a 0.44 ERA. In addition, he also has 36 strikeouts and only 6 walks.
Turley has caught the attention of Carson Cistulli over at Fangraphs as a part of his The Fringe Five column. Within that column, Cistulli highlights Turley’s 50% strike rate to this point in the season. The pitcher accomplishes this by mixing his low to mid-90’s fastball with his curveball.
In the short-term Berrios may be the most likely prospect to get a crack at the open rotation spot for the Twins. Long-term, Nik Turley is trying to make his case to be in the rotation someday as well. For now he will look to continue to perform and hope to get the call to move his record setting arm to Rochester and continue his unorthodox path to the majors.