A baseball player’s lumber that he swings has to fit him perfectly. Trea Turner is consistent with the bat he swings even though the bat could be made by Rawlings or Marucci or Chandler Bats. Turner’s model is the same: Joe Mauer 7 model with a black barrel and a natural handle that measures 33.5 inches in length and weighs 31 ounces to 31.5 ounces.
For the science of bat-making, we usually turn to David Chandler of Chandler Bats in Pennsylvania for his thoughts as we all have wondered where this new power comes from as we saw last week with Trea’s walk-off home run.
Chandler has his theory, and he doesn’t believe it comes from whip or the trampoline effect that many players go for rather from his quick hands and firm contact with sound mechanics.
“Trea’s hand speed works in his favor,” Chandler said. “His swing is so natural and stays long through the zone increasing his odds at favorable contact while he is using the mass and density of the bat. It’s a pure example of the physics. He has always been a good hitter. In a short time he has shown that his mechanics are so darn sound. It’s actually a lack of whip. It’s a lead pipe type of bat he uses which is perfect for him. I’m very happy for his success. I just shipped him four JM77 bats for this weekend in Atlanta.”
Turner’s home runs have length to them. There isn’t a wallscraper among his eight home runs to date. By home run length, there is no other player in the Majors with a greater percentage of 440+ foot home runs per their home run total than Trea Turner.
What does Trea’s family and coaches think about his power? We contacted his father for his thoughts after Trea’s walk-off home run.
“As far as his power, although he was small growing up, he was always strong for his size,” Mark Turner said. “And as he has said, and I firmly believe, as he physically matured, he has learned the mechanics of his swing, made adjustments, the combination of physical and mental has resulted in the power.”
In college in his final year at NC State, Trea led his team with 8 home runs.
Trea Turner, who led NC State with 8 HRs: "Most of the home runs are probably accidents." Said he worked on shortening his swing this year.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) June 6, 2014
Could Trea hit more home runs?
“Sure, if he was to sell-out and swing from his heels on every pitch, and do it at the expense of his batting average,” said Chandler. “Then he wouldn’t be the Trea you see now hitting close to .350 and stealing bases. It is an unselfish approach. He gets on-base so the others can knock him in.”
Trea had his own thoughts on his power.
“Walkoff bomb? Never,” Trea said. “I think I’ve only had one walk-off hit and it might have been when I was like nine or 10 years old. It was a base hit in the six hole, like a ground ball, and I remember getting to first base jumping up and down because I think there was [kid] on third and he ended up scoring… this one’s a little bit better.”
Turner also get singles, doubles and triples. He tied the Nationals record for 8 hits in 8 at-bats tying a mark set in 2007 by Dmitri Young.
Trea Turner has tied the Nats club record with 8 hits in 8 at bats. Ties Dmitri Young's markin 2007
— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) August 25, 2016
Add to all of this his great speed and his 24 steals puts Trea Turner in a club all by himself as there has never been a rookie who has played in under 100 games who has had 8 home runs with 24 steals.
“You guys are going to be way more surprised than I am,” Turner said. “I’m not a power lifter or anything like that, but I feel like I’m stronger than I look. It’s a matter of mechanics at the plate. I think the strength is there, it’s just a matter of making your swing better and squaring up the ball.”
As you now know, Turner has the rare combination of speed and power while hitting for a high average.
The one speed trap that Trea will not get caught in is comparing himself to the speedy Billy Hamilton or whether Usain Bolt could be as fast as him on the baseball field. Trea did talk about sprinting on a track.
“I think we had an indoor track team at N.C. State and they ran like a 60-meter, which is pretty similar to a 60-yard dash, maybe a little bit farther,” Turner was recalling in an interview on 106.7 radio as they discussed if he had track star speed. “But me and my dad have debated that. I would like to think so, but at the same time, [the track stars] are real special athletes and I don’t want to put myself up there with them and be ignorant about it. They’ve got the track, and the spikes and the little suits and all that, and obviously the technique and the training.”
Speed kills, and it really begins there. The power is not on display all the time like the speed is. With 16 games remaining in this regular season, we will certainly revisit these numbers again.