Turner went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves. He took Kevin Gausman deep in the first inning for his first homer of the spring. Turner is hitting just .231 (6-for-26) through 10 games, but his 4:5 BB:K and 2-for-2 success rate on the basepaths indicates there's no cause for concern. The shortstop will open the season hitting near the top of a potent Nats order, and should be considered among the favorites to lead MLB in steals in 2019.
Turner is expected to be the Nationals' leadoff hitter this season, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. Turner hit second more than anywhere else last season, though he also spent 63 games in the leadoff spot. A leadoff role would be a slight bump to his fantasy value, as it would come with a few more opportunities to run and a few more at-bats overall.
Manager Dave Martinez said he talked to Turner about attempting to steal more bases in 2019, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. Turner racked up 43 stolen bases -- good for second most in the majors -- in 52 attempts last season, but Martinez apparently wants the speedy shortstop to be more aggressive on the basepaths in 2019. When all is said and done, the hope is that Turner finishes with closer to 75 or 80 stolen base attempts this season, which would only make the 25-year-old more valuable after he chipped in a career-high 19 homers while hitting .271 across 740 plate appearances in 2018.
Turner and the Nationals avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.725 million deal Friday, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. Turner appeared in all 162 games for Washington last season, hitting a career-high 19 homers while swiping 43 bags. He'll be the Nationals' everyday shortstop again this year.
Turner went 3-for-6 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored Saturday against the Rockies. Turner took Jon Gray deep in the second inning to record his 19th home run of the season. He's either homered or stolen a base in five of his last 10 games, ending the season on a strong note. Turner currently sits just one long ball shy of a 20/40 season, as he has 43 stolen bases in 2018.
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