While the media has not mentioned this, we will make note that Trea Turner according to Fangraph’s WAR is the top shortstop in the National League as well as the top positional player for the Washington Nationals as the “Nationals Trea-sure” is distancing himself from other players.
Most impressive is the table-setting from Turner with a .386 on-base-percentage while accumulating five multi-walk games this season compared to only one last year. Turner is now two walks away from matching his entire 2017 total of 30-walks. His power had been a little stifled by the unseasonably cold April weather, and now all facets of Trea’s game is blossoming with the warm weather with 2 home runs over the weekend.
Trea also has made some impressive adjustments and has lowered his K-rate to a career low of 16.4%. What could help Turner’s numbers is that he only has had 5 infield singles this season which excludes his 3 bunt singles. Last season, he had 22 infield singles. Turner’s BABIP this season is .315 compared to his .345 for his career. At some point, Turner’s infield BABIP should rise. His “exit velo” is 90.14 mph this season which is above league average.
As of today, Trea Turner leads all NL shortstops in Fangraph’s WAR and the best of Trea is probably still ahead of him.
Here is Trea’s top ranking of Washington Nationals position players on Fangraph’s WAR:
Beep Beep. Trea Turner is definitely known as the “roadrunner” and he has certainly embraced that nickname running free and easy for the first four-weeks of the season. However, Turner only has 1 steal in his last 14 games. We do not know why Trea’s stolen base attempts have been curtailed. Some of it almost certainly was due to all of the lefthanded pitchers he has faced, and some of it is based on situational constraints. The “roadrunner” has 13 steals on the season with only 1 caught stealing which is a 92.9% success rate.
Trea Turners hidden value that just cannot be measured is the stress he puts on pitchers when he is on-base as well as the infield defense. How many of the Nats’ batters have seen more favorable fastballs when Trea is on-base as well as pitchers rushing their mechanics to adjust their time to the plate. Again, much of this is impossible to quantify, but worth pondering.
Where should Turner bat in the order when the Nationals are at full strength? That is a debatable point or maybe it isn’t based on the stats: .308 batting average first in the order, .233 second in the order, .286 fifth in the order, and a .211 batting average sixth in the order.
For now, Trea Turner is flying under the radar and expect the media will join the bandwagon soon as he is having an All-Star worthy season.