Third time's a charm for Generals' Turner
BY JOHN HORNBERG
July 20, 2010 at 2:20 a.m.
Ryan Turner has been drafted three times now. The experience is nothing new.
But for the big righthander for the Generals, who was the only current member of the team selected, it doesn't get any less exhilarating.
"It's pretty exciting. You know that a lot of guys get to experience the feeling of getting drafted," he said. "It's a pretty special feeling, and, just hopefully, everything works out. You do what you can, try not to dwell on the little things."
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted him out of high school in the 22nd round in 2007, then the following year by Tampa Bay again in 30th round. Both times, Turner chose not to sign.
He is the only member of the current team taken in the 2010 MLB draft, taken in the 49th round by the Atlanta Braves, 1,184th overall.
"He's always had a good arm, but he's learned to pitch a little bit," said Generals coach Chris Clemons. "He's grown up mentally and physically, all the way around. He's turned into a good young man."
Clemons said he was the back end of McLennan's bullpen, and earned all-conference honors with nine saves, second most in the school's history.
Unfortunately, Turner isn't with the team right now. According to a team official, he is back with family in Wyoming attending to family matters.
Turner said he intends to sign. "Hopefully, and go out and show some of what I'm capable of, and they'll sign me to play rookie ball," he said.
So, why not sign with Tampa Bay?
"I didn't think it was the right for me and didn't think it was the right time and I didn't think I was ready," he said. "Now, I think I'm ready."
He didn't think he was going to even get drafted this year.
"I was stoked," he said of being picked. "I was jumping for joy."
But part of the drop from 30th round to 49th this year had to do with injury.
Turner has had to battle back into game shape after losing much of 2009 to shoulder problems.
After a year in Midland College, he started at McLennan Community College. But much of his first season there was a wash, lost to rotator cuff surgery.
"My third year of college was a lot like pitching my freshman year again," Turner said. "It was fun; it was rough at times, but you plow through it."
When Turner got to McLennan, he was already having shoulder problems, Clemons said.
"We tried to rehab, got him throwing again and he got a few innings. But it just wasn't right," Clemons said.
However, Clemons said the surgery was a chance to clean the slate for Turner.
"He got his shoulder cleaned up, there wasn't anything major, just some minor things in there," Clemons said. "I think it was just as good for him mentally as it was physically."
Clemons said this summer is an opportunity for Turner to show what he is capable of doing.
"Hopefully he can go out there and market himself to get more money," he said.