Turbin’s baseball journey continues with Shorebirds

Minor League Baseball is full of players who have taken unique journeys. The international flavor in the game is as strong as it’s ever been, and there are plenty of domestic stories of players who have traveled near and far to get their crack at professional baseball. With that in mind, Drew Turbin’s journey to Delmarva won’t soon be lost on anyone.

Unless you’ve had a reason to travel there, you’ve likely never heard of Hayden, Idaho.

Shorebirds second baseman Drew Turbin grew up there, a town of almost 14,000 people that is nearly 40 miles east of Spokane, Wash. It’s a town directly due west from the Rocky Mountains with northwest Montana directly to the east. It was far from a baseball hotbed.

According to Turbin, while there is a good support system for baseball where he grew up, Idaho is far more passionate about football and wrestling than they are baseball.

“I was actually a better football player in high school than I was a baseball player,” he said. So I almost went to school to play football. I’ve had a pretty round-about journey so far.”

Drew’s path to football almost solidified because of a bizarre accident that started as a fun day on the water.

“When I was in high school, I was committed to the University of Oregon,” Turbin said. During the summer of my junior year, I was out water-tubing and I actually blew out my eardrum. I was in the hospital for seven days, and as soon as I got out, I went and played in a high school showcase. I didn’t do very well.”

Oregon decided to pull its scholarship offer as Turbin struggled to recover from equilibrium issues. It was then he decided to turn to baseball for his future.

Just getting to a point where he could even think about playing college baseball seemed like a long-shot. Turbin spent his high school summers playing in Seattle with a club team that was serious about the game. But they were also seriously low on cash.

“When we went on these tournaments, we would actually stay in tents,” Turbin said. “We would raise all of this money to get out there to play in all of these big tournaments, and we had a pretty good team and competed very well.”

That’s right. After rolling to tournaments in a couple of vans, his team would camp out. Despite these shortcomings, Turbin was still able to work on his game and find success with his teammates.

When things fell through with Oregon, Turbin’s dad was able to get him signed up for a showcase in Arizona. It was there that Drew connected with Yavapi Junior College and was offered a full scholarship. Turbin credits his time there in aiding his development.

“Going to Yavapi was the best decision for me because I got to play every day there for two years,” he said. “It helped me become a better baseball player and not just an athlete.”

After two years in Arizona, Drew made his way to Dallas Baptist University and played for one of the top NCAA Division I baseball programs in the country. While wearing the red, white and blue, Turbin helped lead the Patriots to a 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Championship, two NCAA Regionals appearances (which they hosted in 2015) and a combined 86-36 record in two seasons.

Even though it has taken him on a circuitous route, Turbin’s dream of becoming a pro baseball player came true last June when the Orioles selected him in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB First Year Player Draft. He is enjoying the challenges of his first full season in professional baseball, but Turbin recognizes the need to stay in the moment.

“The biggest thing for me is to try and just take each day for what it is,” he said. “There are a lot of good baseball players in this organization and it’s a tough road. But I try to focus on just letting the game come to me….I know I can hit certain pitches, I’ve done it before, and I think that’s really what I’m trying to rely on right now.”


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