Justin Turner turns six

Six years ago Ned Colletti made his best move as the Dodger General Manager and it barely moved the media needle at the time when he signed Justin Turner to a minor league deal. Over at TrueBlueLA, we hailed the minor league signing because we thought Justin Turner was the perfect bench player for the 2014 team, no one though expected Justin Turner to become the greatest Dodger 3rd baseman of all-time.

Conner Byrne over at MLBTradeRumors has a nice breakdown on that signing.

It was on this date six years ago that the Dodgers made one of the greatest low-risk free-agent signings in recent memory. On Feb. 5, 2014, the club agreed to a minor league contract with third baseman Justin Turner, who has gone from afterthought to household name since he first donned a Dodgers uniform.

Justin Turner will never catch Ron Cey in bWAR because he’s still over 3,000 plate appearances shy of the Penguin, but for peak 3rd base performance you have to go with Justin Turner. Adrian Beltre may end up the only HOF of the Dodger 3rd baseman but he was but a kid when he left the team for greener pastures.

Player          WAR/pos OPS+   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
Justin Turner      27.0  139 2901 .302 .381 .506 .887
Ron Cey            47.7  125 6108 .264 .359 .445 .804
Todd Zeile          2.5  116  842 .265 .352 .454 .806
Bill Madlock        2.0  112  618 .285 .346 .406 .752
Adrian Beltre      23.4  108 3818 .274 .332 .463 .794
Casey Blake         9.2  108 1608 .260 .338 .431 .768

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/6/2020.

The Free Agent contract that Justin signed with the Dodgers on Dec 23rd, 2016 may also turn out to be one of the best free-agent contracts the Dodgers have ever done in the 21st century. With one year to go Justin Turner has been remarkably consistent. From 2014 – 2016 Justin Turner had an OPS+ of 135, from 2017 – 2019 his OPS+ was 136.

How does Justin Turner rank as a Dodger in the 21st century?

Player            WAR/pos OPS+   PA From   To   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS      Pos
Justin Turner        27.0  139 2901 2014 2019 .302 .381 .506 .887 *5/H46D3
Matt Kemp            22.8  127 5002 2006 2018 .292 .348 .494 .842  *897/HD
Andre Ethier         21.2  122 5425 2006 2017 .285 .359 .463 .822 *97H8/D3
Shawn Green          21.0  130 3462 2000 2004 .280 .366 .510 .876  *93/DH8
Adrian Beltre        19.3  112 2990 2000 2004 .278 .331 .476 .808    *5/H6
Yasiel Puig          18.7  127 2765 2013 2018 .279 .353 .478 .831  *9/8H7D
Russell Martin       16.5  100 2962 2006 2019 .268 .362 .391 .753  *2/H5D1
Rafael Furcal        15.7  100 2803 2006 2011 .283 .351 .406 .757     *6/H
Adrian Gonzalez      13.3  119 2986 2012 2017 .280 .339 .454 .793    *3/HD
James Loney           8.7  105 3378 2006 2012 .284 .341 .423 .764   *3/H9D

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/10/2020.

Would it shock you to find out that Justin Turner has the highest OPS+ of any Dodger in the 21st century with at least 2500 plate appearances?

Would it shock you to find out that Justin Turner has the highest bWAR of any Dodger in the 21st century with at least 2500 plate appearances?

And it isn’t even close.

2 Comments

  1. Wayne Bernhardson

    For sentimental reasons, at least, I need to go with Cey, who was an absolute terror when we played against him in the eighth grade. I’d never seen a swing that quick.

    Like

  2. Cey had some of the hottest streaks I’ve ever seen and had some great moments in the postseason, Even though I’ve been following the team for 50 years he would still make my all-time top ten favorite Dodger list. I think.so anyway, I may have to do that and see what it looks like after fifty years.

    Like

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