AdministratorDecember 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm
2020 was a difficult season for a lot of players, but not for Justin Turner. As usual, Turner had a successful year at the plate and made some big plays at the hot corner. One in particular that possibly saved the Dodgers World Series’ hopes. Injuries did cause him to miss a handful of games this season, but when Turner was on the field, he was contributing.
It seemed like JT lacked power this year at the plate, as he only had four long balls in 42 games. Where he lacked in power, he made up for with his contact, hitting a solid .307 on the year. His .860 OPS (on-base percentage and slugging) is his lowest since 2016, but it’s nothing to complain about as Turner was 35% better than league average when it came to his OPS+ in 2020.
Defensively, Turner put up a negative dWAR for his second season in a row and his second time as a Dodger. Turner may not be the best third baseman, but he still handles the corner well for the most part. He’s lost some of his arm strength over the last couple of seasons, but he’s made some pretty impressive plays to get to some hard-hit balls.
Unfortunately, the injury bug has been a problem for Turner in his time as a Dodger, and due to a hamstring strain, he missed 14 games this season. He was back in time for playoffs, and even though there was some question on whether or not it was hindering his play, he was still a considerable part of the playoff success.
His baseball IQ continues to be next level as well. Take his diving play in Game 7 of the NLCS against the Braves, for example, when he tagged Swanson heading home and then threw Riley out trying to take third. Turner had the awareness to dive and tag Swanson and immediately turn around and fire the ball back to third to turn the double play. This play kept the Dodgers within one run of the Braves and allowed the Dodgers to take back all of the momentum and come back to win the game 4-3 and move onto the World Series. It’s plays like this that you won’t find on a stat sheet that make Justin Turner so special and such an essential piece to the Dodgers’ success. Oh, he also became the Dodgers all-time leader in postseason hits AND home runs in the postseason as a Dodger.
It seems almost inevitable the Dodgers will bring JT back in some capacity. Especially with the possibility of the DH sticking around in 2021. Turner means so much to this team, this city, and this fan base it would be a shock to see him put on a uniform anywhere else.
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