Turner continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Washington Nationals. I can imagine Mike Rizzo sending Padres general manager A.J. Preller a holiday card every year saying thanks for Turner and Joe Ross.
Fans wanted Turner to start the 2016 season with the big league club, but he didn’t get called up until a weekend series in Cincinnati back in June. He went back down to triple-A for a month where he learned how to play center field. Once he came back up, Turner was the spark plug in the leadoff spot.
Over the course of 73 games, Turner had a slash line of .342/.370/.567 with 13 home runs, 40 RBI’s, and 33 stolen bases in 39 chances. He ended up finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.
In 2017, Turner will be back at his natural position of shortstop after the Nats traded Danny Espinosa to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during Winterfest a few weeks ago. While he won’t be playing center field again, it doesn’t take away from how good Turner was defensively at a position he has never played before.
If there’s one thing I am looking forward to in 2017 from a Washington Nationals perspective, it’s watching the amount of stolen bases that Turner will put up in a few season playing for manager Dusty Baker and first base coach Davey Lopes. Turner was fun to watch last season as he is starting to emerge as one of the great young players in the game of baseball.