Turner, Waring join O's farm system
Second baseman has bat control; third baseman boasts power
While Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Freel are the big league names involved in Tuesday's Reds-Orioles trade, there were a pair of prospects who will have new homes in 2009. Here's a closer look at the two Minor Leaguers the Orioles got from the Reds along with Freel.
Justin Turner, 2B: The best way to describe Turner is as a "baseball rat." The Cal State-Fullerton product was a seventh-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, a senior who helped Fullerton win a national title in '04 and go to three College World Series.
Mostly a second baseman, Turner can fill in at shortstop or even at third in a pinch, perhaps pointing to a future as a utilityman. He knows how to position himself defensively, has enough range to play short, though his arm fits better at second.
Offensively, Turner has excellent bat control and makes consistent contact, striking out around 73 times per year in his two full seasons. He's hit .310 for his career, reaching Double-A this past season. He's also willing to take a walk, with a .377 on-base percentage in his pro career.
Turner hit .338 in his debut summer, finishing fourth in the Pioneer League and being named a postseason All-Star. He followed that up with an All-Star season in the Midwest League in 2007. Turner hit .311 to finish third in the batting race during his full-season debut. Last season, he began the year in the Class A Advanced Florida State League, but after hitting .316 in 33 games, he got bumped up to Double-A Chattanooga, where he hit .289 over 280 at-bats. In the elite Arizona Fall League, Turner, now 24, hit .337 in 23 games.
Known as "Red" because of his hair color, Turner is the type of player whose individual tools don't grade out well. But most feel he'll be a big leaguer because his intangibles are off the charts and he's the type of player who does whatever it takes to win and maximize his talent.
Brandon Waring, 3B: Taken by the Reds in the seventh round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Wofford College in South Carolina, Waring proved that the power he showed in his junior year of college (27 homers) was not metal-bat induced. In his debut summer in the rookie-level Pioneer League, Waring hit .311 with a league-leading 20 homers. His .614 slugging percentage was good for second in the league and he was fourth with a .984 OPS. He was given a Minor League Baseball Round-Tripper Award for leading all short-season leagues in home runs.
Power continued to be Waring's one plus tool in his full-season debut in 2008. He hit another 20 home runs, enough for third in the Midwest League, and he also placed fifth in slugging percentage, making the league's All-Star team in the process. His average dropped to .270 and he did finish second in the league with 156 strikeouts, giving him 239 in 188 professional games.
Defensively, Waring is serviceable at third base, though some feel he's best suited for left field or perhaps first base. The Reds have a lot of depth at third base, with Juan Francisco, Adam Rosales and perhaps even Todd Frazier ahead of Waring, making him expendable in this trade.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.