With a career-high in games played (156 - he’s played in every one so far and he’s managed to avoid any injuries this season), and career-bests in doubles (26) and home runs (18), and a major league-leading 42 stolen bases, Trea Turner has put together an impressive 2018 so far. There is, of course, room for improvement for the 25-year-old shortstop, who finished a four-game set with the New York Mets this weekend with a .272/.346/.414 line in 710 plate appearances, over which he’s been worth 4.8 fWAR (also a career-high, and second among qualified NL shortstops).
“I really think he’s going to get better and once he starts learning his strike zone,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters before the series finale with the Mets on Sunday.
“He’s really going to take off, really. Right now he gets up there and he gets a-going and he lets it rip, which, it’s okay, because he’s pretty successful doing it, but in the future he can be a really good leadoff hitter, understanding that sometimes he just can take a strike 3-1 or two strikes till it gets to 3-2 and stuff like that and get on base and do other things besides just hit, but I said this in Spring Training. Here’s a kid that can hit 20-25 home runs every year and drive in 80-90 runs for us and steal 50 bases and he’s proved that this year.”
“There have been games or weeks or stretches where I felt like I could done a lot better from whatever standpoint,” Turner said before Sunday’s game.
“I don’t know necessarily power, but just hitting in general, and that’s why this game is so hard, but continue to work, and [I’ve] got seven, eight more games to try to get better.”
With his 42nd stolen base this season on Sunday afternoon, Turner took over the All-Time franchise lead for stolen bases, passing Ian Desmond (122) on the list for the current D.C.-based team.
Even there, however, his manager said there is room for growth.
“He’s had an unbelievable year this year, and kudos to him,” Martinez told reporters after the 8-6 loss to NY.
“I think he’s only going to get better, I really do. Here’s a guy I think potentially could steal 50-60 bases a year, maybe more, and he’s going to get better at it, he really is. Picking spots when he can run, and actually steal when there’s really an opportunity to steal when it’s not going to be close, those free bases are big for him.”
Turner is finishing strong, with an 11-game hit streak (15 for 45, .333/.434/.511, five doubles, a homer, seven walks, and nine Ks) and 23-game on-base streak (29 for 96, .302/.407/.469, seven doubles, three homers, 16 walks, 20 Ks) going into tonight’s series opener against the Miami Marlins.