Nationals: Trea Turner Should Hands Down Be Named All MLB Shortstop

Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals takes a swing during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals takes a swing during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Tonight the All MLB Teams will be announced. For Washington, Trea Turner and Juan Soto have been named as finalists.

Trea Turner and Juan Soto were bright spots in a very disappointing Nationals season. The two teamed up to form one of the best combos in baseball and have been rewarded by being named finalists to the All MLB Teams. Tonight on MLB Network, the teams will be announced and Washington is facing an uphill battle in order to go two for two. Before I go on about why Trea Turner deserves to be named All MLB First Team shortstop, I want to point something out.

Put aside the way All MLB teams have been turned into an unnecessary spectacle, with fan voting being a predominant factor in deciding the teams. Trea Turner and Juan Soto have been named as finalists which should excite Washington Nationals fans. Everyone knew Soto deserved to be named a finalist after being the best hitter in 2020. However, I was worried about Trea Turner’s earning the recognition he deserves.

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Fans and sports writers tend to choose players who had solid seasons, but also made the playoffs compared to players who put up obscene numbers on a losing team. Just look at Bradley Beal this past year in the NBA for example. He averaged 30 points a game, but because the Wizards were terrible, Beal paid the price.

Fans are biased and sway the vote, especially those that root for a large market team. Turner was the best offensive shortstop in 2020, but despite his stellar year, his team still missed the playoffs. I am glad to see this didn’t hold him back from being named a finalist, but it may cost him tonight.

Another problem holding Turner back is the fact that despite All MLB Teams are supposed to only take the regular season into consideration, this factor will be disregarded by some. Turner’s competition Corey Seager and Fernando Tatis Jr. both made the playoffs. Seager won NLCS and World Series MVP. Those two accolades are going to be one of the major factors fans look at despite this is supposed to be a regular-season award. Tatis Jr. on the other hand is one of the most polarizing young players in the game and is already the talk of the sport, where Trea Turner has been under-rated his entire career.

The Finalists for All MLB shortstop are Turner, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Corey Seager. All are qualified candidates after putting up monster seasons. Now, let’s compare their numbers.

Turner:   .335 BA, 12 HRs, 41 RBIs, 12 SB, .394 OBP, .588 SLG, .982 OPS, 157 OPS+, 157 wRC+, 2.2 bWAR, 2.7 fWAR

9 errors, -7 DRS, -2.9 UZR, 2 OAA

Tatis Jr.:  .277 BA, 17 HRs, 45 RBIs, 11 SB, .368 OPB, .571 SLG, .937 OPS, 155 OPS+, 149 wRC+, 2.5 bWAR, 2.9 fWAR

3 errors, 1 DRS, .9 UZR, 7 OAA

Seager:   .307 BA,  15 HRs, 41 RBIs, 1 SB, .358 OPB, .585 SLG, .943 OPS, 152 OPS+, 151 wRC+, 1.9 bWAR, 1.9 fWAR

8 errors, -2 DRS, -3.5 UZR, 0 OAA

Turner, who has the offensive edge over the other two also led the league in base hits, while Tatis had the slight edge in WAR due to his superior defense. Corey Seager took a backseat to the other two, making him the clear odd-man out. The argument comes down to does Turner’s monster offensive season warrant him over Tatis who was solid on both offense and defense? The answer is yes. Turner led all shortstops in BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, and wRC+ with a lesser supporting cast than his two opponents, showing just how impressive his season really was. The only consistent bat behind Turner was Soto, where the Dodgers and Padres were both stacked up and down the lineup. In addition to his production, Turner was disciplined at the plate, only striking out 36 times, compared to Seager’s 37 and Tatis’s 61. However, Tatis did lead the three in walks.

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Turner’s monster offensive season would normally lock him up the first team nod, but with the fan vote being counted and missing the playoffs, Turner may be hurt for factors out of his control. We will find out tonight.