The Detroit Tigers select Alabama's Spencer Turnbull at the 63rd pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.
Thursday on day 1 of the 2014 MLB Draft, Alabama pitcher Spencer Turnbull was selected at the 63rd pick by the Detroit Tigers. Turnbull, who had never been drafted before, came to Alabama and was able to vastly improve his fastball. That was the key that put Turnbull over the top.
This past season, which was Turnbull's junior year, his fastball reached 98 and was able to consistently hit 94. Although he struggled in the wins column -- going 5-7 on the year -- he was able to maintain a 2.22 ERA this season, holding opposing batters to a mere .192 batting average.
With this pick, the Tigers receive a power pitcher who knows how to win. A pitcher who knows how to keep runs to a minimum when his own teammates aren't able to score. Turnbull is just as excited as Detroit is to be the highest draft pick from the University of Alabama since 2006, in Wade LeBlanc.
Just wanted to say thank you to the Detroit Tigers for believing in me! I can't wait to get to work! #RollTigers— Spencer Turnbull (@spencerturnbull) June 6, 2014
In addition to Turnbull, right fielder/catcher, Ben Moore was drafted in the 8th round by the Boston Red Sox and left-handed pitcher Justin Kamplain went to the Yankees in the 18th. All three drafted Bama players are juniors.
A couple of other players are projected to be drafted by the time the draft is over including first baseman Austen Smith who is a solid prospect who could be picked up in the later rounds of this year's MLB Draft.
Others to take note of: Alabama signees such as Matt Morgan (MLB.com's 126th overall prospect), Jamal Howard, Zach Coker, and a few others all have great chances of being drafted. So for Tide fans, make sure to stay tuned to Roll 'Bama Roll for updates on Alabama baseball players and signees being drafted into the MLB.
[EDITOR UPDATE: Senior 1B Austen Smith picked by the Marlins in the 33rd round. -CB969]