Jacob Turner, MLB.com's No. 42 top prospect
, coasted through his first professional start Saturday, piling up seven strikeouts while allowing two hits over five shutout innings.
His West Michigan Whitecaps lost to the Lake County Captains, 6-4, in the Midwest League game. But the Tigers couldn't have hoped for much better of a debut from Turner, who was grabbed with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 Draft.
The 18-year-old righty turned heads a month ago by striking out Mark Teixeira after walking the bases loaded during a Spring Training game March 10. He showed no trouble with his command Saturday as he didn't issue a walk.
Turner notched his first strikeout when Lake County leadoff hitter Delvi Cid took a called third strike to begin the bottom of the first inning. Two batters later, Roberto Perez laced a line drive to left field for a single, but Turner induced a popout in foul territory off the bat of Jeremie Tice to end the inning.
After striking out the side in the second and working a perfect third and fourth, Turner gave up a double to Chun-Hsiu Chen to open the fifth. He struck out the next two and got Gregory Folgia to ground out to first, exiting the game with a 3-0 lead.
The Captains were able to capitalize on Whitecaps errors in three consecutive innings beginning in the sixth, though, and late homers from Folgia and Adam Abraham tipped the game to Lake County.
Turner will likely make his next start April 16 against the Hot Rods in Bowling Green.