Trea Turner hit nine homers in 143 games and 544 plate appearances between Double-A, Triple-A and the majors in 2015, in the then-22-year-old, 2014 first-round pick’s first full season of professional baseball.
In 83 games and 271 PAs at Triple-A Syracuse this season, Turner, now 23, hit six home runs.
In his 52nd game and 232nd and 233rd PAs in the majors this season, Turner hit his 7th and 8th home runs, his seventh a two-run blast in the seventh and his eighth a walk-off homer to center off Philadelphia Phillies’ right-hander Frank Herrmann in the ninth that lifted the Nationals to a 5-4 win.
Turner told reporters, including CSN Mid-Atlantic writer Chase Hughes, that it was his first walk-off home run in a long, long time.
“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 and jumping up and down because I think there was a [kid] on third and he ended up scoring… this one's a little bit better."
Turner battled Herrmann for nine pitches before hitting the walk-off winner.
“We were watching here,” Tanner Roark told reporters after he gave up one run on six hits over six innings in his start vs the Phillies.
“I could see the focus that he was locked in and he wasn’t going to be the last out of the ninth and he didn’t want to make an out and then he got his pitch to hit and he took it yard, which was unbelievable to watch and he’s a gamer and he’s a fighter and ... he’s perfect.”
“That tells me that he has excellent vision and excellent concentration,” Dusty Baker said when asked about the consistent, quality at bats Turner has put together.
“That’s what it’s all about. And he has the desire and fight on the inside. Because a lot of times, I mean, you see various hitters, they’ll just give away an at bat, but he keeps fighting and fighting and that’s what hitting is all about. It’s a battle. It’s you against the pitcher. He fouled off some tough pitches, got one to drive and these are the kind of at bats that you hope for and expect everyone to have.”
“It’s fun to watch,” Roark added. “He’s a gamer. He wants to win every game and he plays as hard as he can for as long as he can. He’s been really such a game-changer for us at the leadoff spot. He’s putting everything into it and he’s not giving in.
“Even though he lined out twice and hit the ball hard twice, he kept his nose in there and kept going.”
Turner finished the night 2 for 5 with a .345/.365/.561 line on the year.
Baker said he just hoped that Turner can keep going.
“Just keep it coming. Sky is the limit. He’s probably doing some things that are even amazing himself, but you just let it flow and let it be. He’s playing outstanding center field, his first two-homer game, first walk-off homer game. This is one he’ll remember for a long time.”
• We talked about Turner’s walk-off winner, and Turner’s power and his speed and his defense and more on Nats Nightly: