Out of all the prospects that have gotten the call to the big leagues in recent years, Trea Turner is the one that intrigues me the most. He is a rare combo of speed, defense, and just enough power to make you wonder what his ceiling might actually be.
Lets jump right in to last year. After spending about half of the season in Triple-A, Turner got the call up to the majors and never looked back. Through 73 games, Turner hit .342 with 13 HRs, 40 RBI and 33 SB. While his BABIP was rather high (.388) I can’t completely write that off as non repeatable. Someone with the speed that Turner has will always have a high BABIP. Well, not all players with that speed, just the good ones (I’m looking at you, Billy Hamilton). Guys like Jose Altuve (.347), Dee Gordon (.383 in last full season), Starling Marte (.380) and Jose Villar (.373) all show that speed = high BABIP which = High average.
I don’t see Turner having quite the same ceiling as Altuve, due to the fact that Altuve is 5’7″ but has the power of a 6’5″ guy. I do think he can come close, though. Realistically, he has the skill set to be a bit better version of Starling Marte. Both are speedsters, Marte stole 47 bases last year and Turner stole 33, and both have the potential to hit 20 HRs.
They also have very similar career BABIP, BB% and K% numbers.
Marte: .359 / 4.7% / 22.2%
Turner: .379 / 4.9% / 19.3%
One thing Turner has on Marte, though, is his slugging percentage. Marte’s career SLG% is .447. Through the first 100 games of Turner’s career he sits at .539.
Turner also puts up great wRC+ numbers which is probably my favorite Sabermetric. Through those same 100 career games his wRC+ is 138. Including last season when he had a wRC+ of 147. Whats so nice about that, you may ask? If Turner had played enough games to qualify, 147 would have tied him with Nelson Cruz for 10th in all of baseball.
With as deadly a lineup as the Nationals have and having that incredible pitching staff, having the luxury of someone like Turner at the top of the lineup is almost overkill.
Look for Turner to come out guns blazing this season. It will be his first full season in the majors at the head of that vicious lineup and I plan on him putting on a show all season.
I know we are dealing with a small sample size so far, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit .315 with 19 HRs, 70 RBI, 50 SB and 100 runs scored this season.
All Stats are courtesy of Fangraphs.com