This weeks Twins Minor League Player of the Week is also today’s Minnesota Twins starting pitcher against the San Francisco Giants, left-hander Nik Turley. The 6’5″ Turley will be the fourth Twins pitcher to make major league debut this season following Randy Rosario, Jason Wheeler and Justin Haley.
Turley tied a Southern League record with the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) by striking out eight straight batters on April 25 vs. Tennessee and also set a Frontier Field record by striking out 15 batters in just 6.0 innings in his last start on June 6 for the Rochester Red Wings (AAA) while allowing just 4 hits. The 15 strikeouts were the most by a Red Wings pitcher since 1988.
Between Chattanooga and Rochester, Turley struck out 84 of 204 total batters faced (41.2%). He struck out 45 of 86 total batters faced (52.3%) with the Lookouts.
The now 27-year old Turley was a 50th round selection (1,502 overall) by the Yankees in 2008 and has played in the minor league systems of the Yankees, Giants, Red Sox and the Twins as well as an independent league team. Turley is the first 50th round draft pick to reach the majors since Efren Navarro in 2011, and one of just three 50th round selections
to reach the major leagues since 2000 (also: Jarrod Dyson in 2010).
In his 10th minor league season Turley has a 48-45 record with a 3.50 ERA. Turley changed the grip on some of his pitches this spring and seemingly has turned his career around. Nik has stated that former Yankee pitcher Bob Turley is a distant relative.