If this is how Brice Turang is going to hit in his first full Minor League season, the 20 clubs that passed on him in last year's Draft may look back and wonder what he might be doing if he were in their system.
The Brewers' No. 3 prospect collected three hits, including a pair of doubles, in Class A Wisconsin's 4-3 loss to Clinton on Friday night at Ashford University Field. His second straight three-hit game boosted his batting average to .292, the highest it's been since April 8.
"Every at-bat," he said, "win the battle."
Gameday box score
Turang opened the game with a double to left field off starter Peyton Culbertson but was thrown out at third base when Yeison Coca grounded to Culbertson in the next at-bat. He fared better on the basepaths in the third, when he came around to score on a double by David Fry after duplicating his leadoff two-base knock.
The 19-year-old infielder singled to center in the fifth before working a full-count walk an inning later, reaching base for the sixth straight plate appearance. He went down on strikes in the ninth, something that's happened only twice in the Timber Rattlers' last four games.
The 3-for-4 night extended Turang's hitting streak to five games since his average dipped to a season-low .192 on Saturday. He's 10-for-22 (.455) during that span with two walks and three stolen bases. It's a promising start to his first full season after the Brewers took the Santiago (California) High School product with the 21st pick in last year's Draft and signed him away from a Louisiana State commitment.
Since then, Turang has displayed the advanced approach that had him ranked as one of the top prep players in his class. He assembled a .283/.396/.352 slash line in 42 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League and with Rookie Advanced Helena last summer. So far this season, he's walked as many times as he's struck out (eight).
"I'm having fun with it, too," he said.
Two weeks into this season, Turang's mind-set is to simply "compete." He stressed the concept after the game, saying it's how he wants to attack every day and every plate appearance.
"There's always something to work on," he said. "Just a lot of staying positive. Knowing what I can do. Being ready all the time, being ready to go out and play every day. Make sure my mind is right. Make sure my body's right to go out and compete."
2019 MiLB include
Even with Turang's production atop the order, the Timber Rattlers couldn't catch up to a LumberKings lineup that produced early against Wisconsin starter Adam Hill (1-1).
No. 10 Marlins prospect Will Banfield blasted a three-run homer in the first and Demetrius Sims singled in another run in the second.
That was enough support for a Clinton bullpen that yielded four hits over the final five innings. Tyler Mitzel (1-0) picked up the win after striking out four in two scoreless frames and Alex Vesia recorded his first save, despite surrendering a solo homer to Coca in the ninth.