Not known for his power, his two clutch home runs Friday night, including a mammoth walk-off shot off an interior wall beyond center field, propelled the Nats to a much needed 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
With eight homers on the year in Washington, and the six shots clobbered in Triple-A Syracuse, Turner has 14 on the season. A career-high for a player better known for his speed than long balls.
Turner shows plenty of speed too. Going into Friday’s game, his 21 stolen bases are tenth in the National League. A remarkable feat for someone who has played 52 games this year. That is right, 52.
Although Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Corey Seager and Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story are the favorites to win the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, Turner should be in the conversation. Aside from his speed, his 74 hits are second-highest in baseball since the All-Star break.
Turner is hitting .345 which, if eligible, would tie him for the NL lead with Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy. He is tied for tenth in triples with six. The 27 runs scored in August was second in Major League Baseball. Whatever the front office expected from Turner when he came up for good is topped.
You know, the same front office that fleeced the San Diego Padres for him and Joe Ross.
Turner was the player to be named later in a December 2014 package between Washington, San Diego and the Tampa Bay Rays. Wil Myers grabbed the headline portion of the deal, but the Nationals stole the show. San Diego never received a player from the Nationals. Tampa Bay got minor leaguer Travis Ott and Steven Sousa.
In 38 states and four Canadian provinces that is called highway robbery.
A middle infielder drafted 14th overall by the Padres in 2014 out of North Carolina State, Turner played six career games as an outfielder during his short minor league career. Yeah, six. Although you could use him at short or second, as Washington has, his move to center field works.