.265, 8 HR’s, 86 RBI’s in three seasons. Those are the numbers of Justin Turner in his brief three year career with the Mets. Turner provided the Mets with starts at third base, second base, first base, short stop, and even left field. Pinch hitting numbers, .263 with 3 HR’s and 32 RBI’s. After the 2013 season the New York Mets made a huge mistake. The Mets decide to non-tender Turner, and let him enter free agency. “A lack of hustle,” “philosophical head-butting,” were the reasons the Mets said they let the slugging utility man walk.
This year Turner said he couldn’t have envisioned things working out in his favor as much as they have. In three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Turner has hit .296 with 50 HR’s, 27 of which were this past season, and 193 RBI’s, 90 of which came this past season. Despite a dreadful start to the season due to an offseason micro-fracture knee surgery, Turner was still able to hit to a stellar mark of .275.
Turner is a different type of ballplayer. He plays the game hard and the right way. He will and can play any position needed of him. JT plays the game with passion, swagger, and the right amount of energy that all managers should love. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he has “always liked his energy and the way he interacted with teammates and the at-bat he gave you coming off the bench or days he would start.”
Last year the Dodgers lost to the Mets in the NLDS, but in no fault to Turner. Justin killed his former team hitting an outstanding 10-for-19 (.526), with an NLDS record six doubles. This postseason, Turner picked right off where he left off hitting a stellar .320 with 2 HR’s and 6 RBI’s. Turner has the Dodgers just two wins away from the twenty second NL Pennant in franchise history, and his first World Series appearance.
From a utility man and non-tendered with the Mets, to hitting third and starting everyday for a playoff team in the Dodgers. How does that saying go? One man’s trash, or in this case lack of hustle, is another man’s treasure.