TREA TURNER LEADING OFF
The consensus was before the start of Spring Training that Turner and Eaton would audition for the leadoff spot in the potent Nationals lineup.
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Turner’s ability to intimidate pitchers with his speed made the competition pointless. His six stolen bases and three home runs makes you think of legends Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines. Not only can Turner turn a walk into a double or triple, he has the power to start a game with a home run.
The ability to be a run scoring threat from the first pitch on earned Turner the spot. With Eaton, Harper and Daniel Murphy following, pitchers cannot make mistakes with Turner. He will make you pay.
Inexperienced pitchers will lose focus with the batter trying to keep Turner tied to first or allow the stolen base and set up the immediate runner in scoring position. As long as he reaches base, he is a threat to run.
Oh, he has good instincts and range at short too. Although it may not be Gold Glove stuff, Turner’s speed will rob hits and end rallies.
Although Eaton never got out of the gate in West Palm Beach, unless Turner goes into an extended slump, Eaton will not bat leadoff.
Classic home run hitters intimidate pitchers because they can beat you with a single swing. Turner knows he can do it with a walk. He reads pitchers well and knows when to be aggressive.
He is an All-Star in the making.