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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 74: Colton Turner

The veteran lefty will bide his time and pounce on an MLB opportunity in 2019

MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
Logjammed: With at least three southpaws ahead of him on the White Sox depth chart, Turner will have to be patient in 2019.
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Colton Turner
6´3´´
215 pounds
Throws: Left
Age: 28
SSS rank among all left-handed relievers in the system: 6

Turner was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on August 27, 2016, for catcher Dioner Navarro. At the time of the acquisition, Turner had a microscopic 0.41 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 54 innings, with 70 strikeouts while pitching for Lansing (A), Dunedin (A+), and New Hampshire (AA) in the Blue Jays system. The Blue Jays took him in the 21st round of the 2012 MLB draft. Turner came out of Texas State, where as a starting pitcher he enjoyed a 2.45 ERA and punched out 87 hitters over 87 2⁄3 innings of work.

In 2017 with Birmingham, Turner had a 2.45 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, while striking out 37 and walking just 10 over 33 innings; batters hit only .223 against him, while he had nifty strikeout (27.4%) and walk (7.4%) percentages. Once he was promoted to Charlotte, however, Turner struggled to a 6.85 ERA and 1.61 WHIP over 22 innings, while his strikeout rate declined (18.4%) and OBA increased (.309).

In 2018, Turner started the season with Charlotte, but struggled to a 7.59 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in his first seven outings. Hitters batted .310 against him during this short stint, and Turner walked five hitters in 10 2⁄3 innings of work. After being demoted to Birmingham, Turner returned to dominance: In 27 outings encompassing 42 innings, he had a 7-2 record, with four saves, a 0.86 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 25 hits and 10 walks. He held Southern League hitters to a .168 OBA, 6.2 BB%, and 27.3 K%.

Turner returned to Charlotte on August 22, and fared much better in his final three appearances; thanks to those three outings, his final numbers with the Knights improved to a much more respectable 4.76 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 22 23 innings — allowing 19 hits (.229 OBA) and 10 walks (10.5%) while fanning 21 hitters overall (22.1%).

Turner has a classic pitcher’s build, and has enjoyed similar success against lefties and righties throughout his career. This year with both Birmingham and Charlotte, lefties hit .189 while righties hit .190 against him. His repertoire includes a 90-94 mph fastball, a slider in the mid-80s and a changeup that helps neutralize righties.

Due to the logjam in southpaw relievers in the White Sox pen, Turner will start the season in Charlotte. He’s certainly pitched well enough in the minors to warrant a look sometime next year, if any combination of trades, ineffectiveness or injuries affect the team’s depth.


Take a look!

Video courtesy of our friends at 2080 Baseball.

Video by Aaron Thorn.


2019 South Side Sox Top 100 Prospects

74. Colton Turner, LHSP
75. Jhoandro Alfonso, C
76. Ramon Beltre, 2B
77. Charlie Tilson, CF
78. Hunter Kiel, RHRP
79. Jason Bilous, RHSP
80. Nick Johnson, RHRP
81. Danny Dopico, RHRP
82. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
83. Logan Sowers, RF
84. Maiker Feliz, 3B
85. Brayan Herrera, RHSP
86. Craig Dedelow, LF
87. Wilber Pérez, RHSP
88. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
89. Johan Dominguez, RHRP
90. Mitch Roman, 2B
91. Ty Greene, C
92. Tanner Banks, LHSP
93. Jake Elliott, RHRP
94. Kevin Escorcia, LHRP
95. Luis Rodriguez, RHSP
96. Ian Dawkins, LF
97. Victor Diaz, RHRP
98. Travis Moniot, LF
99. Will Kincanon, RHRP
100. Brian Clark, LHRP


More information on South Side Top Prospects.