Skipjacks’ Turner drafted by Los Angeles Angels
St. Michaels High grad taken as outfielder in 44th round of MLB draft
Wednesday was a great day for both Mike Turner and the Chesapeake College baseball program.
One of the Skipjacks’ top players the last two years, Turner was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Wednesday in the 44th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. Turner, a shortstop for the Skipjacks, was selected as an outfielder by the Angels.
"He’ll probably play right field because he has a very strong arm," said Jerry Wargo, the Angels’ scout for Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, after Los Angeles selected Turner with the 1,344th pick of the draft.
"It’s exciting. I’m a little bit anxious," said Turner Wednesday afternoon. "I knew there were some other teams interested, but I figured this was the team I was going to go to."
Turner became the first player selected directly from Chesapeake College in the MLB draft. Wargo, who saw Turner play "two or three games" this season, recommended Turner to his supervisor, Dan Radcliff, which led to a private workout for Turner at Chesapeake College in front of both Wargo and Radcliff in late May.
"He had a great workout," said Wargo, adding Turner has a lot to offer. "He has a great work ethic. He hits to all fields with power. He’s a very good runner and has good baseball instincts. He’s a player who needs a chance to go out there and see what he can do."
Chesapeake head baseball coach Frank Szymanski said he was "just so happy for Mike and his family. This has got to be one of the greatest days of his life."
Turner, who played on St. Michaels High’s 2008 state championship squad, led the Skipjacks to a second-place finish in the state in 2009 and a tie for third place this spring. Chesapeake was third in Region XX in 2009 and finished as this season’s Region XX runner-up, the team’s highest regional finish since winning a region title in 2005.
Turner hit .313 with a team-high nine home runs this spring while finishing second on the squad in RBI (37) and slugging percentage (.569).
Wargo said the Angels plan to call him Wednesday to set up a meeting so they can quickly conclude a contract.
"My supervisor (Radcliff) will be flying in from California," said Wargo. "The Angels have two rookie leagues one in Arizona and one in Utah. They will determine which one he will go to.
"We’d like to get him out there (to the rookie league) as fast as possible," added Wargo. "They have a week, week-and-a-half to work everyone out and get ready to start the games."
Turner said he is excited about moving to the outfield.
"I get to run around and throw some guys out. It should be fun," he said.
Turner said what he will most remember about Chesapeake College is the opportunity to play for Szymanski.
"I like his enthusiasm and his passion to win," Turner said. "It wore off on me. It (his two years at Chesapeake) gave me this opportunity."
It’s an opportunity that all three Turner, Wargo and Szymanski say he needs to grab with gusto.
"The average major league player is considered young at 25. This gives me five years to get there," said Turner.
"He’s got an opportunity that’s the main thing, because anything can happen," said Szymanski. "We hope that he’s prepared from playing in our system and under Coach (Brian) Femi at St. Michaels and Coach (Donnie) Gowe. Coach Gowe has been his coach for most of his life, first in Little League and then under Coach Femi at St. Michaels and then here at Chesapeake."
"It’s an opportunity," echoed Wargo. "The rest is up to him."
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