Results tagged ‘ Justin Turner ’
Who is he?
A singles-hitting second baseman, age 27. For some reason, probably injuries, he’s only played 100 games in a season once. He doesn’t have any power (career .089 isolated power); he was starting to draw walks but regressed significantly last season. He doesn’t have a good-glove rep, and hasn’t played any shortstop or third base. He fits somewhere between Justin Turner and Jonathan Tucker, and is a longshot to have a major-league career.
Could he play in the major leagues?
When Brian Roberts went down with an injury in spring training, the Orioles had several options to fill in. They could have just plopped Ty Wigginton there, but they decided Wigginton didn’t have enough glove and would be more useful as a corner utility player. They decided to acquire an out-of-favor veteran, Julio Lugo, which didn’t work out real well. They should have given the job to Justin Turner.
Turner was a .300 hitter at Norfolk. He didn’t have a lot of power, or speed, and didn’t draw many walks. He wasn’t a brilliant fielder at second; didn’t have the range for shortstop, and didn’t have the arm for third base. .300 is nice, but there’s not a lot to go with it.
Except. Norfolk is THE worst hitter’s park in AAA. .300 in Norfolk is .300 in the majors. Turner is almost an exact comp to another player who played in Norfolk about five years ago, in the Mets organization — Jeff Keppinger. Like Turner, Keppinger was a singles-hitting second baseman who wasn’t considered brilliant defensively. When Keppinger finally got a real chance to play, he proved he could be solid enough defensive and a legitimate .300 hitter. In fact, Keppinger got a real chance to play shortstop and handled it well enough. Other players similar to Justin Turner are David Eckstein and, for those with longer memories, Marty Barrett.
Turner doesn’t have any star potential. His upside is solid regular, and he’s more likely to top out as a marginal regular. But Julio Lugo doesn’t have even that upside. Even if Turner flamed out, the Orioles wouldn’t be any worse off. There’s no point in not giving him that chance, to see if a contending team needing a second baseman would offer more than the waiver price.