Written by: Jake Tweedie
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Brewers No. 2 Prospect Brice Turang 2B/SS – Carolina Mudcats (A Adv)
20 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: L – 6’0″ 173lbs – ETA 2023
After Brice Turang was drafted in the 1st Round (21st Overall) in 2018, he spent the majority of his first season in Rookie ball as a shortstop. The Brewers utilized him more as a 2B in 2019, despite signing as a SS. Most of his tools aren’t standout but he works well with what he has. There will need to be some emphasis on certain aspects of his game to reach his potential. He was recently overtaken by 2020 Draftee CF Garrett Mitchell as the Number 1 Prospect in the Brewers system.
Since debuting in 2018, Brice has regularly stepped up the system. He reached A Advanced in 2019. His rookie ball season resulted in an average of .283 without being explosive in what he did. Whilst his 2019 was more of a learning curve and started showing his positives but highlighted his negatives.
His positives at Wisconsin (A) were his clean contact with the ball, more explosive power, and aggressive between the bases. Although this decreased significantly at Carolina (A Adv), there seemed to be a clean-up of Brice’s action and swing. This allowed for smoother contact but also resulted in more strikeouts.
If he can continue to work on his action to be tall without much movement, then he has the ability to increase his hitting outputs. However, there seems to be some tendency to go back to his previous approach.
He’s not the biggest of fielders, but he suits the middle infield. His fielding abilities add to his potential ability at the plate. There needs to be work in all aspects of his game, but Brice has a high baseball IQ and work rate. This should allow for development to come quickly after such a long break.
Turang has the ability to make clean contact due to his swing and body shift throughout his action. Although this doesn’t always result in long XBH he has significantly improved from 2018 to 2019. This is largely in part due to the cleaning up of his mechanics. Whether he can integrate this higher up remains to be seen.
Turang’s stance style towards the back end of 2018, as seen in the clip below, was tall. He predominantly used his upper body to generate the power and leverage to lift the ball over the outfield. Although his BA was .283 for the year, he only hit 6 doubles. The lack of lower body movement left him restricted in what he could do.
If we take a look at where he hits the ball there are a lot of singles just before the outfield, before we see some XBHs to the opposite field.
The lower body movement was highlighted in the previous clip, and this didn’t allow Brice to change his body shape to pull the ball and scatter his hits around the field. The spray chart supports this and shows he was static in his movement and swinging action.
Brice’s general approach seemed more targeted at getting bat-on-ball, especially with AZL Brewers, but this changed slightly as he gained some strength, and this lead to the XBHs seen in the chart. The added strength, alongside clean contact, enabled the ball to come off his bat harder and more accurate.
The step-up to Wisconsin (A) required a varied approach from Brice Turang in order for him to deal with better pitchers and fielders. The clip below shows his first HR with Wisconsin, and when comparing his stance and action with that of 2018, he uses his whole body more, with his legs creating the majority of his shift.
His back foot dropping so low enabled him to push off and shift his momentum quickly through his body. This then leads to him creating better leverage and applying his ability to hit the ball hard, thus resulting in a HR.
Although this was only the first of 3 HRs for the 2019 season, this approach and stance allowed him to hit around the field easier as it enabled his upper body to adjust to the pitch.
Brice continued to hit the ball to opposite field efficiently but added that extra ability to pull the ball and this worked for him, especially in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, he couldn’t continue this at Carolina Mudcats (A Adv), but the promising signs came in Wisconsin and showed that with development he could reach his potential.
His spray chart shows better utilization of the field, as well as the incredible ability to pick up Doubles, mainly down the 3B line. Brice still showed more comfort in hitting the ball to opposite field, but when he did pull the ball he hit all 3 of his HRs to that side. There was definitely an improvement due to his mechanism becoming cleaner and certainly shows encouraging signs looking forward to 2021.
Although Brice definitely shows promise with his contact and timing, his power hasn’t been a key component of his hitting game. He has only hit 4 HRs since he was drafted by the Brewers. However, the development of his hitting tool has seen him utilize his raw power a bit more to pick up more doubles and triples.
This has largely come due to his emphasis on focusing on the fly ball, rather than the ground ball.
There was very little in terms of power potential in 2018 from Brice. He hit just the one HR, but this is down to the fact he had a GB% of 51.2% and 57.1% when in the rookie leagues.
This relates back to his spray chart from above. Most of the hits came in front of the outfielders and resulted in more base hits, rather than emphasizing the slugging game.
The restrictions of his batting stance can account for this too, however there was minimal output from a power perspective in 2018.
Then came progress…
There was an change to his batting stance, as well as more emphasis on trying to drive the ball in the air, rather than on the ground.
His FB% increased significantly from 28% and 23.8% in the rookie leagues in 2018 to 39.7% in A and A+ in 2019. This showed a big change in his approach, and although this cost him in terms of BA, it resulted in 4 HRs and more XBHs.
There wasn’t a big change in terms of which way he hit the ball, but his stance allowed him to generate more power through his swing to allow better productivity to the pull side.
His power potential could see him limited to double-digit HRs at most, but there is plenty of potential for regular XBHs due to the way he can drive the ball hard and with clean contact.
One of his most impressive tools, Brice uses the basepaths effectively and picks up regular SBs.
This adds to his threat on the plate, as not only can he get on base with his ability to make regular contact with the ball, he’s quick off the mark and 44 SBs from 51 attempts overall.
There will be more emphasis on this as he progresses through the system, especially if he focuses more on his hitting tool than his power tool.
Defense: 50/55 – Arm: 55/55
Defensively he has the range, and the hands to play in either of the infield roles. He started off as a SS, and played all his 2018 games there, but was utilized more as a 2B in 2019.
Although it’s a significantly less sample size, he made just the one error at 2B, whilst he made 14 errors at SS.
He has an above-average arm, that allows him to make plays from the infield position, but the way his bat plays, and his low FLD% at SS could see him shifted into 2B more permanently.
Summary – Brice Turang 50 FV:
Brice Turang seemed to have a bit of a developmental year in 2019. There was more focus on ensuring his swing was smoother, and that his action was more fluid. Although this led to his BA decreasing, when he did make contact, he did so with better effect.
There are still a few areas that need ironing out in order to maximize his full potential but there are plenty of positives surrounding him and what he has achieved so far in the Brewers’ ranks.
His 2021 season will be important for his development and with a strong showing may be able to speed up that 2023 timeline to a 2022 debut date. But he will need to show that he has adapted his game to the next level and continue to rise through the system at a quicker rate.
Overall, Brice Turang is an exciting talent and has the tools to be the next big thing for the Brewers if everything falls into place.
You can read the rest of the Brewers Top 20 Prospects HERE