Shortstop Position Battle Update:
Trea Turner, 22, is in Spring Training competing for the Opening Day job at short, but he's got some competition from not only Danny Espinosa, the expected OD starter, but even veteran infielder Stephen Drew, who does, however, seem to be a long shot for the starting job at short.
Nats' skipper Dusty Baker talked to reporters on Monday about what he's seen from Turner, the top-rated infield prospect in the organization, thus far this Spring, with Grapefruit League games about to get started.
Turner has moved quickly since signing for $2.9M after the San Diego Padres drafted him 13th overall in the first round of the 2014 Draft then traded the shortstop to the Nationals last winter in the three-team trade with Tampa Bay.
Turner started at Double-A in the Padres' system in 2015 after playing at two levels of A-ball in 2014, moved to the Nationals' Double-A affiliate when he was included as the PTBNL in the three-team deal last June, then jumped to Triple-A with the Nats before he made his MLB debut last August.
Baker, who'll have a tough decision to make at some point this Spring, was asked about the quick rise through the ranks for Turner, and what that told him about a prospect?
"I've seen it in my experience with the higher-caliber players and prospects," Baker said, "and the fact that when you speed through -- that means that you haven't hit any bumps in the road and that you haven't failed along the way in order to have to go back.
"I've heard about Turner, big-time, and about his speed, which we could use, but is he ready to be here or are we rushing him or is he... right now I've got to give Espinosa a shot, but who knows.
"I've talked to other people -- I talked to Delino DeShields, [who] had him in the Fall League and he told me to keep an eye on him, he's an impact player on the game. He didn't know if he was a shortstop or second baseman, really, but he said he's a dynamic player. I like what I see and just sometimes you may want somebody, but sometimes there might not be room at that point in time, you know what I mean?"