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Written by Mark Nikolov Photo by D1Baseball
Brice Turang was recently chosen as the number two high school baseball player in the country by Baseball America, but if it were up to me I would list him at number one. Nothing against currently ranked number one prospect Ethan Hankins. Hankins is a tremendously talented pitcher and I think he’ll be a great professional player if he stays healthy. Turang is just slightly ahead of him because of his baseball pedigree and his phenomenal hit tool.
Back in September, I had the opportunity to watch Brice play at the Area Codes Baseball Games in Long Beach. His presence there created a large buzz. Every time he came up to bat, the level of volume and intensity in the stands increased. He was very confident at the plate and he had a calm approach, even with all the scouts looking on and the fans cheering and roaring. His bat to ball skills surpassed those of any other player at the showcase.
After one of the games I got the chance to speak with Brice’s father – Brian Turang. Brian was a major league outfielder drafted once by the Brewers in 1987 and again by the Mariners in 1989. He’s very enthusiastic about the game of baseball. In our short conversation we mostly talked about bat brands and performance tools. Brice was using a wooden Tucci Limited bat that was pretty light. Brendan Rodgers also hit with a TL bat when he played in the California League this past year.
Graphing Notes: Brice is currently two per so don’t try to put a full nine board in front of him. Instead, I would encourage you to purchase one or two nice looking cards (maybe something numbered) and try to get those signed. One thing I’m learning about graphing is “quality is better than quantity.” The less you ask someone to sign, the better looking signature you’re going to get. It makes more sense to go home with a piece you really like as opposed to a full page of chicken scratch.
Fantasy Outlook: It’s not too early to talk about Brice Turang in your fantasy baseball circles. Yes, he’s still in high school and he signed up to play for LSU following his upcoming season. However, Baseball America is speculating that the Philadelphia Phillies will draft him with the third overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. If he goes that high in the draft it is likely that he’ll go to a major league team and end up in Rookie Ball next year.
When I examine prospects for dynasty baseball the first thing I consider is the hit tool. Power is something that can be improved on with age, speed usually is not. Turang doesn’t steal a ton of bases but I’m not concerned about that. A lot of young speedsters end up with hamstring injuries at the major league level and injuries on your fantasy baseball roster can sabotage your season. I expect Brice to continue to hit well in his senior year and sign with an MLB club in 2018. He could have the same amount of success that Royce Lewis had this past season in the minors, minus the stolen bases. If he does end up with the Phillies or another team with a hitter friendly ballpark, his doubles will turn into home runs sooner than later.
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