Trea Turner didn't have anything more to prove in the minors, but the Nationals sent him back to Syracuse anyway so he could hit .302/.370/.471 in 331 at-bats with 25 steals before finally getting a long-overdue promotion. If he was frustrated by his slow progress up the ladder, he took it out on opposing pitchers. While his .342 batting average was the product of an unsustainable .391 BABIP, his contact rates and batting averages have always been excellent, and 33 steals in 73 big league games isn't out of line with his minor league theatrics on the basepaths. The real surprise was the power he flashed at the highest level. After hitting just 19 home runs in 268 minor league games, Turner slugged 13 in 73 games with Washington. If that power proves to be even partially sustainable (and his 16.7 percent HR/FB rate, while high, wasn't outrageous), the Nats suddenly find themselves with a 23-year-old five-category shortstop, and a future pillar of the franchise.
Turner will be the Nationals' starting shortstop in 2017 following the acquisition of Adam Eaton and the trade of Danny Espinosa to the Angels, The Washington Post reports. While Turner is a defensive downgrade at shortstop from the slick Espinosa, the Nats got a major upgrade in offense with the moves. Given that Turner hit .342 with a .937 OPS last season despite mostly playing out of position in center field, it's possible the move back to shortstop might even help him at the plate, in addition to adding to his 2B and OF eligibility in most fantasy formats.
Turner went 2-for-3 with a walk, a solo shot, two runs scored and a stolen base in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Marlins. The fifth inning blast, his 13th home run in just 72 big league games this season, proved to be the difference in the game. Despite the late callup, Turner has put himself firmly in the conversation for NL Rookie of the Year with a .342/.367/.569 slash line, 53 runs scored and 32 steals.
Turner is out of Sunday's lineup against the Pirates, Dan Kolko of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network reports. After clinching the NL East on Saturday, Turner will have Sunday off. He has an impressive .336 batting average for the season, but has gone just 7-for-31 (.226) over the last seven games. With Turner out, Ben Revere will start in center field and hit leadoff.
Turner went 1-for-5 with a home run in the Nationals' 8-3 win over the Marlins on Wednesday. Turner had been hitless in the first two games of the series against the Marlins, a slump by his standards this year. Turner has done it all for the Nationals since being called up from Triple-A, hitting .342 with 12 home runs and 27 steals in 62 games for the Nationals.
Turner went 3-for-4 with a pair of solo homers, walk and stolen base in Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Braves. The dynamic leadoff man continues to terrorize pitching around the majors and was the only member of the Nationals line to have an impact Saturday. He led off the game with a 374-foot solo shot to left and followed up with a 389-foot encore in the fifth to get Washington to within 3-2. Turner has five multi-hit outings in his last six games and 10 overall in what has been an outstanding September so far. He also has three homers in his last pair of contests and is now slashing .356/.377/.585 in 253 at-bats.