Highlighting Baltimore Orioles 2018 MLB Draft Picks: 14th Rounder Doran Turchin (from @BabyBirdland)
The Baltimore Orioles hope that they have tapped into a power source with their 14th round draft pick in the recently completed MLB Draft. The team selected University of Illinois outfielder Doran Turchin with the hope that the flashes of power he showed for the Illini translate to power in the professional ranks.
Turchin comes to Baltimore as a 4-year college junior who produced a career slash line of .259/ .355/ .443 with 21 homeruns and 76 RBI that was accompanied by 165 strikeouts and 78 walks.
The 2018 season was his best with the Illini as he hit .272/ .387/ .503 with 9 homeruns and 32 RBI. Additionally, he stole 11 bases and walked 34 times while striking out 49 times (a career low).
The 6’2” 195lb. Turchin earned a spot on the All-Big 10 third team and was named the Big-10 Player of the Week on March 12th.
Drafted 415th overall, Turchin signed with the Orioles on June 15th for a reported bonus of $125,000 and was assigned to the Aberdeen Ironbirds of the New York-Penn League (A-Short). He has appeared in 10 of Aberdeen’s 11 games as of Monday night.
Turchin currently owns a .189/ .231/ .378 slash line with 4 doubles, 1 homerun and 3 RBI to go with 2 walks and 19 strikeouts. He homered to left field in the home half of the 4th inning on Sunday in a game that was his best of the young season. Turchin went 3 for 4 with a run scored, a double, the aforementioned homerun and 3 RBI in Sunday’s game against the Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland).
His previous best came against Staten Island (Yankees) when he went 2 for 2 with a run scored, 2 doubles and 2 walks.
Despite those two highlight-worthy games Turchin has struggled as he begins his professional career. The hits have come in 4 games while he has struck out at least twice in 7 of the games he has played in.
The pedigree and ability are there for Turchin; he proved it playing for the Illini and has provided a glimpse of it in Aberdeen. During the six game span from his first professional hit through his first professional homerun he hit .333/ .391/ .667 in 24 plate appearances with 7 hits, including 4 doubles and 1 homerun, with 3 RBI and 2 walks while striking out 10 times. He also had an amazing .600 average on balls in play.
The early indication, based on the numbers, is that Turchin is an all-or-nothing type of hitter. His collegiate record says otherwise and I am confident that the production will level out once he gets used to the daily grind of professional baseball.
It is still way too early to draw any conclusions about what the Orioles may have gotten in the 14th round but let’s hope it is a solid player with power.
** To read more from Josh Michael (founder/editor Baby Birdland), Nick Stevens and myself about all levels of the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues please visit Baby Birdland **
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