After getting off to a slow start to his first full season in the MLB, Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner has quickly returned to form, leading to him being named District on Deck’s player of the week.
Last season, Trea Turner broke onto the scene for the Washington Nationals and made an incredible immediate impact. After moving back to his natural position of shortstop this year, he was going through a bit of a sophomore slump, which was most likely caused by an early hamstring injury.
Now that Turner has been back in the lineup for a while, he is turning his season around and is looking like the player Nats fans quickly grew to love last year. Still just 23 years old, Turner has established himself as one of the league’s most exciting players and appears to be a budding superstar.
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Turner continued his resurgence this week, recording a hit in five of the seven games he started. He also served as an excellent top-of-the-lineup hitter, scoring at least one run in four of the seven.
Turner also led the Nats in quite a few offensive statistical categories. This week, he led the team in runs scored (six), hits (eight), triples (two), and stolen bases (seven).
He also finished a close second in slugging percentage (.414), total bases (12), and total pitches seen (124). Finally, he finished third in walks (four), batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.364), on-base plus slugging (.777), and extra base hits (two).
A few of those stats stand out. First of all, his seven stolen bases led the entire league and it wasn’t even close. The next most were Delino DeShields, Dee Gordon, Cameron Maybin, and Mallex Smith all tied with four. Even more impressive, Turner was a perfect 7-for-7 on stolen base attempts this week. When healthy, he is arguably the best base stealer in the league.
Another stat that stands out but may go unnoticed is his 124 pitches seen. By seeing lots of pitches, Turner is doing his job as a leadoff hitter and allowing his teammates to see what the opposing pitcher is featuring before they step into the box. Even if Turner is unable to get on base, he has contributed by allowing his teammates to get a good look at the opposing pitcher.
Turner’s best game of the week was Thursday against Baltimore when he went 3-for-4 with three stolen bases and two runs scored. In addition to his remarkable offensive performance, he also flashed some leather. In the fourth inning, he made a spectacular diving play to rob Mark Trumbo of a hit. He used his speed to get to the ball and then showcased his arm strength to gun down Trumbo. Turner is a special player and put all of his defensive talents on display on this play.
After getting off to a hot start to the week, he has slowed down considerably. In the last two games, he is 0-for-9. It appears that he may be a bit fatigued, which is understandable considering the Nats came home from their West Coast trip and never got an off-day. Turner also hasn’t missed a single game since May 8. After playing in so many consecutive games and struggling a bit over the last couple days, Wilmer Difo or Stephen Drew will probably get an appearance at shortstop soon.
Despite getting off to a sluggish start, Turner is still having a solid season, batting .264 in 51 games. He is beginning to get hot and is once again showing why he is one of the most exciting players in the sport. If he is able to stay hot, he is capable of making a huge impact on both sides of the ball and leading the Nats on a deep postseason run.