Coming off a World Series Championship, players generally regress. Not Trea Turner. He continues to lead the National League with unreal statistics even as the Nationals continue to struggle.
Turner leads all of Major League Baseball in batting average (.362), hits (59), and on-base percentage (.417). In the National League, he is second to Fernando Tatís Jr. in home runs (9), slugging (.626), on-base percentage (1.039), total bases (102), and a vital stat nowadays, wins above replacement (1.9).
Could Trea Turner Make History?
It has been 85 years since a shortstop hit better than .350, with Arky Vaughn hitting .385 in 1935. Turner also happens to lead the majors in the decidedly new-school-weighted runs above average entering Tuesday.
With the loss of Anthony Rendon over the off-season, former Atlanta Braves pitcher and Hall of Famer John Smoltz told the Nationals Talk podcast in the preseason:
“I think he (Trea Turner) will be in the MVP conversation for years to come.”Smoltz told the Nationals Talk Podcast
Talk about a bold prediction, just six years ago; shortstop was the worst-hitting position on the diamond–for a fifth straight year.
Through his age-27 season, Trea Turner has 72 homers, 164 steals, and an OPS of .833, equaling that of only Mike Trout for active players. Only seven others 1900 have recorded equal or higher: Hanley Ramírez, Carlos Beltrán, Alex Rodríguez, Barry Bonds, Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry, and Bobby Bonds. Of this list, only Darryl Strawberry won a world series ring before their 27th birthday.
Having to step up to a leadership role as the longest-tenured Nationals position player, with Ryan Zimmerman opting out of playing this year, Turner has excelled. While Turner is having an elite season putting up ridiculous numbers, the 15–25 Nationals likely will extend the record drought without a repeat World Series champion to 20 years.