Brice Turang beat out an infield single in his first MLB at-bat on Opening Day on Thursday, then had a steal on Saturday, went 2-for-3 with 2 walks on Sunday before blowing up with a grand slam and a steal on Monday.
The 23-year-old second baseman has come out of the gates with a .500/.615/.900 triple-slash with a homer, 2 steals, 5 runs and 5 RBIs in 4 games.
Turang won a role in the Milwaukee infield with an excellent spring training, batting .289 with a homer and 3 steals in 17 games.
Drafted in the first round in 2018 out of Santiago High School in California, he had a solid first pro season by coming to bat .283 with a .936 OBP, 1 HR and 14 SB in 42 games over two rookie-ball levels. Turang performed well for Low-A Wisconsin in 2019, batting .287 with 2 HR and 21 SB in 82 games before struggling for High-A Carolina with a .200 average, 1 HR and 9 SB in 47 games. He continued a steady climb in 2021 despite less-than-stellar numbers for Double-A Biloxi (.714 OPS, 5 HR, 11 SB, 73 games) and Triple-A Nashville (.696 OPS, 1 HR, 9 SB, 44 games), starting to fall off fantasy radars without much category appeal. Turang came through with a much more exciting season in 2022, putting up a .772 OPS, 13 HR and 34 SB in 131 games for Nashville.
So what can we expect from the 6-foot, 176-pounder in his rookie season? Looking at his ATC projection, Turang is expected to contribute mostly in steals with 15 while struggling with the bat (.651 OPS and 8 HR) in 488 plate appearances. We’re betting that if Turang gets to 575 PAs, it will be because he’s managed to take over second base, pushing Luis Ortiz (when he comes off the IL) to third base, so something like .260 with 10 HR and 30 SB is within reason.
The worry is that if he fails to lock down second base, Ortiz may get so much playing time that Turang is pushed to more of a part-time role or even to the minors and doesn’t contribute much except in NL-only leagues.
As for the long-term future, Turang could lock it up and use his tremendous plate discipline (12.9 BB%, 18.1 K%) to land in the top of the lineup to become a premium table-setter. If everything goes right, Turang could become in his prime a regular producer of 100 runs, 15 homers, 40 steals and a .270 average.