Mud Hens’ Turner, Brantly traded to MiamiWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mud Hens saw two very familiar names traded away on July 23 as their parent club, the Detroit Tigers, bolstered their roster for a playoff push.
Detroit traded away two of its top prospects in starter Jacob Turner and catcher Rob Brantly to Miami, acquiring major league talent in its two biggest positions of need, starter Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante.
“It’s a great two additions for our big league club and that’s something we are obviously excited about as they go forward,” Toledo head coach Phil Nevin said. “To make your major league club better you have to dip into your future and we had to do that with Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly. Miami is getting two very good players with a good catcher and a good pitcher and someday they will be very happy with them.”
The Tigers also sent away Double-A pitcher Brian Flynn and along with Miami became the first teams to swap competitive balance picks for the 2013 Draft. Detroit will now have the final pick in compensation round A, which is after the first round, while the Marlins will have the last pick in compensation round B, following the second round.
Turner entered the season ranked as the organization’s top prospect by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus and the 10th overall prospect in the majors by MLB.com. In 62.2 innings for the Mud Hens, Turner posted a 3.16 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while striking out 40 and walking 24.
Turner struggled, however, in his three major league starts this season. The 21-year-old gave up 11 runs in 12.1 innings and allowed more home runs (4) than he did in his 62.2 innings in Triple-A this season (2).
“Jacob Turner is someone I have enjoyed watching mature and grow over the last couple of years,” Nevin said. “He is going to be a good big league starter and I look forward to watching him down the line.”
Turner wasn’t the only talented player in the trade. Brantly was also beginning to make a name for himself across the league at catcher. The 23-year-old entered the year as the team’s No. 7 prospect from Baseball America and No. 10 prospect from Baseball Prospectus. He was also named to the 2012 All-Star Futures Game this season.
Brantly was the only player in the deal on the Mud Hens at the time of the trade, with Turner getting called up to Detroit on July 17. He learned of the trade before the team’s July 23 matchup against Indianapolis and was unavailable for comment after leaving for Miami before the game started.
In 2012, Brantly is hitting .254 for Toledo in 130 at bats with 11 runs and six RBI. He hit .311 in Double-A in 180 at bats with 16 runs, three home runs and 24 RBI.
“Rob Brantly can hit and does a fine job behind the plate,” Nevin said. “He is full of energy and wants to learn. He has done a heck of a lot as far as his advancement since he’s been here.”
Flynn, who had not yet reached the Mud Hens, was ranked as the No. 11 prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the season.
In return, the Tigers will add an experienced starter in the seven-year veteran Sanchez. The 28-year-old is 5-7 this season in his last year of his $8 million contract and has a 3.94 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 121 innings of work. He has struck out 110 batters this season, walking 33.
Detroit will also add a familiar face in Infante, who played for the team from 2002-07. The middle infielder is hitting .287 this year with 42 runs, eight homers and 33 RBI. Those numbers will help improve on those from the team’s current second basemen Ramon Santiago (.216, 18 R, 2 HR, 17 RBI) and Ryan Raburn (.172, 13 R, 1 HR, 12 RBI). Infante is signed through 2013, making $4 million a season.
“To get that type of talent you have to give up a lot and we did,” Nevin said. “At the end of the day these are your guys and you’ve developed them for a reason and that’s to help your big league club. Those players were developed and they helped our big league club now because we were able to obtain two quality guys for the Tigers.”