BRISTOL - At 2:03 p.m. Wednesday, Ledyard High School senior pitcher and Bristol Blues signee Ken Turner walked outside for his final class of the day and took a phone call from an MLB scout from the northeast.
After the scout had sent Turner some texts giving him updates, he finally delivered Turner the big news: Turner had just been selected in the 20th round of the MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.
Turner and teammate Peter Kiefer both smiled at each other, fist-bumped, and Turner then informed his parents, friends and classmates of the news.
“I was kind of lost for words. I didn’t really know how to react,” Turner said. “The scout was like, ‘Are you excited?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ I didn’t really know how to react. It was funny that he had to ask me that because I was so shocked. And I still am shocked, honestly.
“To be able to share the moment with one of my teammates and some of my classmates later on a couple minutes later was a big moment for me.”
Turner, a 6-foot-5, right-handed pitcher, was the 595th overall pick of the draft and will now decide whether or not he wants to sign with the Rangers or continue his plan to begin his freshman season for the University of Hartford baseball team. He has until July 12 to make a decision. If he chooses not to sign, he will be eligible for the draft again after completing his junior season.
“I’m not sure what I’m gonna do yet. I have to sit down with some of my family and talk to some of my coaches and make a decision going forward,” Turner said. “It’s a long period of time in front of me, but I don’t think I’m gonna take that long to decide. I’d say maybe a couple weeks, but I don’t really know because I haven’t sat down with my parents and really talked about it. I’ve kind of just been letting it sink in a little bit and been enjoying the moment.”
After deciding between signing with fellow FCBL club the Nashua Silver Knights and the Blues, Turner chose Muzzy Field to be his summer destination because of the comfort of being closer to home.
He has not yet pitched for the Blues, as he is not eligible to play until the end of the Ledyard school year next week. After he helped lead Ledyard to the second round of the Class M state tournament, Turner said that if he decides to attend Hartford and pitch for the Hawks instead of signing with the Rangers, his plan is to join the Blues this summer and work on his game.
“I wanna get my innings back up and get my confidence back up and get some college hitters out and see how I do against them,” Turner said. “One of my Hartford coaches gave me a couple tips I should work on throughout the summer season if I choose to go to Bristol so hopefully I’ll be able to work on those things.”
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org