On Monday morning, Bleacher Report released its power rankings for each team’s projected third baseman.
At the top of the list were none other than Nolan Arenado and Alex Bregman. No shock there. A little more surprising was Justin Turner being placed 15th. Here’s what BR had to say.
“Turner is getting up there in age — he turned 35 in November — but he isn’t showing signs of breaking down just yet. Not on offense, at any rate. His defensive ratings did take a considerable nosedive in 2019.
The Dodgers third baseman matched his career high of 27 home runs last season while batting .290. If he keeps doing that while giving them below-average-but-not-atrocious defensive efforts, no one is going to complain.”
While a valid point is made in Turner’s defense, the downfall hasn’t been as stark as some might think.
Offensively, Turner did decline last season in important areas such as strikeout and walk rate. However, he was still 32% better than the league average hitter. The concern from Bleacher Report clearly stems from his age leading to another season where his stats dip.
While placing 15th may indicate Turner as being viewed as just average, it’s more of a result of the position having so much talent. For reference, Mets third baseman Jeff Mcneil, who hit .318 last season with 23 home runs, ranked 13th. Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson, who just signed a contract worth nearly $100 Million, also did not crack the top ten.
The full power rankings can be seen here.