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Top-prospect Jacob Turner has a shot at making Tigers in 2011: Leyland

Manager Jim Leyland was on WDFN radio with Larry Lage and Art Regner recently to talk about the offseason, and also spoke about the Tigers' No. 1 pitching prospect Jacob Turner.

Leyland told the hosts (as recorded at MLive):

"He's wise beyond his age really," Leyland said. "He probably has a better secondary pitch than Porcello did at this point in his career. He has an excellent curve ball"

"He’s a guy we’re hoping can come along fast," Leyland said. "I would say it would be a real, real longshot that he would break with the club out of spring training, although there are some people that think at some point during the season, a possibility. It's still probably a bit of a longshot, but a possibility."

I would hardly call this news, of course. It really isn't news when the Tigers let their top pitching prospects play in the major leagues relatively early in their career. Justin Verlander pitched in two doubleheader games in 2005 at age 22. Andrew Miller and Jair Jurrjens both made their MLB debuts the year they turned 21. We all remember, Rick Porcello made the big leagues at age 20 after one year of professional basebal

So it's nothing unexpected. I suppose you could say it's a bit of a surprise that Leyland is saying those words out loud, but I think they might serve as a motivating factor, not just to Turner but to the rest of the rotation as well.