Turley Getting Comfortable Already

Turley is excited about refining his game more

Usually 50th round picks offer little in the way of projection or expecations, but that's certainly not the case with Nik Turley. The 6-foot-6 southpaw signed a bit late this summer and only got into a handful of games, but he pitched well when he toed the rubber for the Gulf Coast League Yankees and he says he immediately felt comfortable in the professional game.

"I think it went well," Nik Turley said of his debut season. "It felt good, everything was working well. One of the good things was I felt comfortable out there."

It certainly appeared he felt comfortable right from the get-go, striking out a pair of batters in his lone inning of work against the GCL Phillies in his professional debut on August 11th.

"I wasn't really nervous in my first outing," he stated. "I was a little anxious but not nervous. Everything went well. I'm just glad I made that decision to play pro ball. It was a really good experience."

Opting for the professional ranks in lieu of heading off to college to possibly improve his draft stock over the coming three years, Turley says the allure of receiving immediate professional coaching was just too much to pass up.

"I thought the pitching coaches would help me develop my game in pro ball instead of going to college," he admitted. "I felt like I would get better and I felt like I was ready."

If the early returns are any indication, he definitely looks ready. He picked up two wins and posted a 1.13 ERA over his first four games, and he failed to walk a batter while striking out 13 over eight innings.

"I think what really got better was my curveball, my command of my curveball," said Turley. "I struck out a lot of batters with that. I just felt comfortable out there. I trusted my stuff and it worked."

Sitting mostly 91-92 MPH with his fastball and showcasing a solid breaking ball, he was also quite pleased with his changeup.

"The changeup was good," he opined. "All of my pitches were working. I was confident and I trusted my stuff."

What excites the lefty the most is the prospect of even getting better in due time. Still under the Yankees' rule of not implementing any changes during the first 30 days with the organization, Turley hasn't even had an chance to improve his craft yet.

That opportunity will come during the Instructional League season and Turley, who isn't sure if he will be going to Dominican Instructs or not just yet, is eager to refine his game some more over the offseason.

"They definitely said they want to make changes, but they didn't say what," he revealed. "I just want to clean up my mechanics a little bit.

"Sometimes my front shoulder comes open a little early and little things like that. I think that if my mechanics can be cleaner, it'll help me get better and make me even more comfortable."

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