It's no secret that the braintrust (such that is is) of Federal Baseball is squarely on the #freeTreaTurner bandwagon. If you listen to the Nats Nightly podcast (and why shouldn't you?), you know we've been calling for him since mid-season last year, when incumbent Ian Desmond was going through his darkest slumps.
All kidding aside, Turner is legitimately one of the most-ready prospects in all of baseball. He resides on most prospects lists in the Top 25 range, depending on who you ask. He's currently No. 9 on Baseball America's list.
Baseball Prospectus says: "...there's no catch. Turner's superb contact and speed, solid glovework and range, and plus instincts add up to a dependable cog in the lineup," projecting him for 3.6 WARP this season.
Baseball Forecaster, which is primarily a fantasy guide which focuses on skill and not stats, says he's a rookie of the year candidate with "30-steal upside," if given a chance to start. They have him at No. 4 on their "Impact Prospects for 2016" list.
On Sunday, he flashed that plus speed twice, forcing Kolton Wong into a throwing error and then stealing second, then later reaching on another ball in the infield, allowing a runner to score.
Last year at AAA-Syracuse he used that speed and plate discipline to go .314/.353/.431 with 14 steals in 16 tries over 205 plate appearances. He even hit three home runs for good measure. Overall last year, between AA and AAA in both the Nats and Padres systems he hit .322/.370/.458 with 29/35 steals. All this in just his second year as a pro.
It's still pretty amazing to think that GM Mike Rizzo was able to insinuate himself into a three-way trade with San Diego and Tampa Bay and grab Turner AND Joe Ross and only surrender marginal and overage prospect Steven Souza Jr (granted, Souza will always have a place in the hearts of Nats fans for One. Amazing. Catch.)
So Turner didn't have a hit on Sunday, but did factor in scoring, earning an RBI, and stole his second base of the young spring. He'll have to vastly outplay Danny Espinosa (and Stephen Drew) to make the Opening Day roster, but even if he doesn't it won't be long before he'll be leading off and manning shortstop at Nats Park on a full time basis.