As the summer heat ticks higher, so do the miles on Stacy and Randy Turner’s odometer. By next week, the summer mile tally will have exceeded 10,000 from traveling across the country.
On the surface, that may seem normal, except they’re not doing this for vacation. Those miles, you see, are so they can help their son Trey showcase his skills in front of college and professional baseball scouts. This exposure is for his future, and Trey, a senior-to-be at NHS, is taking full advantage of an opportunity he says he knows isn’t afforded to everyone.
“It’s definitely a privilege to be able to travel around the country and play with the top-level of competition,” Trey Turner said.
Turner, who has been named Preseason High School Underclassmen All-American High Honorable Mention by Perfect Game National, has shown his skills at the Perfect Game National showcase at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn., where radar guns had him at 90 mph off the mound and 95 from the outfield. He then joined up with the traveling Midwest Nationals, and has played in tournaments in Nashville, Tenn., Wichita, Kan., Dallas and Austin, Texas, and will play in Cincinatti, Ohio, in another week.
But for now, the Nationals have brought him home, oddly enough, as they took on the Amarillo Titans at Crowder College during the Premier Baseball Junior World Series on Thursday.
“It’s been great,” Turner said. “I’ve grown up a lot this summer because of (Nationals) Coach (Dave) Bingham’s help. The coaching staff’s unbelievable. It’s just an all-around great experience.”
The experience and level of competition Turner’s facing this summer simply can’t be rivaled during the high school season. He cited a rough pitching performance on Wednesday as an example of how tough the competition can be, but the things he learned from that outing as to how beneficial the experience is.
“Facing hitters by far,” Turner said. “(Wednesday) night started off not too well, but I fought back and got some pointers from Coach Bingham, trusted my stuff and made the adjustment out on the mound.
“Being around these talented players just makes you work harder. It’s great competition throughout the summer and throughout the team to strive to make each other better. It’s definitely a higher level of competition than high school ball, but I believe I can take this experience and (transfer) it on to high school ball and make our high school team better.”
Turner is determined to make the most out of every mile he travels this summer. Playing with the Nationals is something he’s done for several years now, and he’s learned to take care of his body while starting and playing everyday.
Page 2 of 2 - “You catch up on your sleep and take good care of your body, drink a ton of water,” Turner said. “It’s definitely a privilege that I get to travel with my buddies, my friends. It’s going to be a lifetime relationship with these guys.”
With four Division I committees already on the Nationals at the moment, Turner admits he’s spent plenty of time picking the brains of his coaches and teammates as he experiences the recruiting process himself.
“When I have questions I sometimes ask (my teammates), but I usually ask Coach Bingham and Coach (Eric) Briggs. Coach Bingham knows everyone under the sun, and he helps out a lot. Coach Briggs knows a lot of people, so they have great connections. It’s been a great experience so far.”
Once the Premier Tournament wraps up this week in Joplin, the Turner family will set their sights on Cincinatti for one more stop with the Nationals. It’ll be one more chance for him to pick the brains of his teammates and coaches, one more chance to strut his stuff in front of scouts, one more chance to make memories with his baseball buddies.
Those miles aren’t going to stand in his way.