Cubs pitcher Jacob Turner made Keith Law’s list of potential breakout players for the 2015 season.
Turner, who was acquired from Miami in August for a pair of minor leaguers, would be regarded as a failed prospect to this point.
He was a first-round pick by the Tigers in 2009 and was considered one of the game’s top prospects for a spell. Turner was later acquired by Miami as the key piece in the Anibal Sanchez trade in 2010. He struggled mightily in two-plus seasons with the Marlins and was designated for assignment because he was out of minor league options.
Law has been a fan of Chicago’s acquiring Turner since breaking the news last summer.
Turner is hurt as I write this, out with a flexor strain and bone bruise but apparently without ligament damage, although we have all seen reports of it’s just a flesh wound turn into his ligament spontaneously combusted before. (Side-eye toward Citi Field.) But Turner had his arm slot back up to where it was when he was pumping gas earlier in his career and he’d reportedly hit 96 before his elbow, likely reacting to the renewal of a disused arm action, barked. I’m not saying he’s this year’s Jake Arrieta, but if he’s healthy enough to pitch after his month off and a few weeks of rehab, I think he can boost that strikeout rate from about 15 percent to well over 20 percent thanks to the restored arm speed.
Law had White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton on his list of breakout players last season.