One player who drew attention in the major leagues last week was Yuri Perez (20‧ Miami). Miami decided to call-up Perez, who was one of the team’s top prospects, and made his debut in a game against Cincinnati on the 13th (Korean time).
On this day, Perez recorded 4 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts and 2 runs in 4⅔ innings. In terms of his grades alone, it wasn’t that much of a hot topic. It was Pérez’s age that drew attention. Perez made his debut at the age of 20 years and 27 days. He stood on the big league mound at an early age, which is rare in the major leagues.
Ordinary prospects make it to the major league mound by going from single-A to triple-A. Most of the players who graduated from college make their major league debut in their mid-twenties at the earliest. Players from Central and South America have a slightly earlier debut, but it is very rare for players to make their debut at the age of 20.
In the last 15 years, only one player has made his major league debut at a younger age than Perez. It is Julio Urias (LA Dodgers) who is about to become a free agent (FA). Urias, who has been highly anticipated since childhood with the possibility of “ace level”, made his major league debut in May 2016 at the age of 19 years and 289 days.
Third place is Madison Bumgarner (then San Francisco), who debuted in September 2009, aged 20 years and 38 days, and Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), who debuted at the age of 20 years and 67 days in May 2008, is fourth. But the number 5 name is interesting and familiar to us. Jacob Turner (32), who experienced the KBO league by playing for the KIA, is the main character. Turner made his major league debut at the age of 20 years and 70 days in July 2011 with Detroit.
That much means that he was desperate in the Detroit situation, and was a promising prospect who was raised with pampering, and had perfected skills since childhood. He appeared splendidly from the nomination. He was a first-round (ninth overall) pick by Detroit in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. He was nominated earlier than Mike Trout (LA Angels), who was nominated in the same year. He was a super-prospect who received $5.5 million in signing money alone.
Despite graduating from high school, his minor league career was short-lived. Detroit, who decided he could put him right into the major leagues, made his major league debut in 2011. It was evaluated that Detroit’s team style, which makes high school pitchers debut relatively quickly, also had an impact.
However, he did not grow as much as he expected. He was traded to Miami in 2012 and moved to the Chicago Cubs in 2014. Since then, he has become a journeyman by moving to the Chicago White Sox, Washington, Miami, and Detroit. In 2014, he pitched 113 innings in 28 games (18 starts) for both teams (Miami‧Cubs), recording a 6-11 ERA of 6.13. His frequent injuries also held him back.
Such Turner transferred to KIA in the KBO League in 2019 and threw a game. He had the intention of re-challenging in the major leagues after establishing a foothold in the KBO league. At that time, the league also showed extraordinary interest, saying, “A player with quite an excellent career came from the first round nomination in the major leagues.” KIA also invested a huge amount of 1 million dollars. But the downtrend was clear. He also had no success in the KBO League.안전놀이터
Although he occasionally flashed pitches, he went 7-13 with a 5.46 earned run average in 153⅓ innings pitched in 28 games. It was difficult to renew the contract, and he eventually left Korea and entered the process of retirement. He reportedly went on job hunts against major league teams, but disappeared without a word, and since 2019, he has no records of minor league appearances.
Contrast that with Urias, Bumgarner, and Kershaw entering the ranks of elite pitchers. Trout, Bryce Harper, Matt Moore, Manny Machado, and Jack Wheeler, who competed with Turner for the top prospect rankings at the time, achieved great success in the major leagues, and many other players still continue their careers in the major leagues. Casey Kelly, who plays for LG, is also doing well and receiving love from fans. This may also be the reason why Turner’s decline is more prominent.