in

Dodgers: Justin Turner Ranked the 6th Best Third Baseman in MLB

Is JT…too high up on the list?



As of right now, the Dodgers and Justin Turner don’t seem to be any closer to agreeing on a contract. But the good news is that there is still no indication that Turner plans on signing elsewhere or that he wants to play anywhere else. 

The Dodgers know what JT brings to the team on a daily basis, even if his defense has been in decline. Turner has provided a solid and consistent bat in the middle of the lineup for 7 years out in Los Angeles. 

But it’s not just the Dodgers who value Turner across the board. MLB Network recently did their third base rankings, and JT came in high on the list. The Shredder ranked Turner as the 6th-best third baseman in baseball today, ahead of All-Stars like Matt Chapman and Eugenio Suarez. 

While we agree that JT is easily one of OUR favorite third basemen, 6th does seem a little high for the 36-year-old. From an offensive standpoint, JT has seen a power dip since 2018 despite most of his numbers staying relatively steady. But the Dodgers having Turner play 3B on a daily basis likely took a few good swings off of his career. 

Related: Trevor Bauer Seeking $250 Million and Holding Out for the Dodgers

Defensively, almost every measure tells you that Turner is on his way out at the hot corner. The shortened season in 2020 seemed to help slow that a bit, but it’s a safe bet that playing in the field isn’t in anyone’s plan for Turner long-term. It certainly doesn’t bode well for the Dodgers’ chances at signing him to a deal longer than 2 years. 

But despite the fact that they ranked him ahead of guys like Chapman and Suarez, JT is still able to play at a pretty high level. The Dodgers absolutely would not have been able to pull out their first World Series win since 1988 without him.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, interviews, live streams, and more!

Dodgers: Joc Pederson Talking With the Giants About a Possible Deal

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. More than his defensive decline, the high fastballs he used to whack out of the park with his short swing were blowing by him last year. Definitely a red flag for signing him for more than 2 years, even as a DH. But he is still their best option for this season, and he has earned a two year commitment, I hope it works out.

    • Yes he has lost bat speed and foot speed so both offense and defense are declining. Father Time is undefeated.
      I think they will settle with a 2 year with a third year option. Who knows what will happen in 2022 as the labor Contract is due to be renegotiated and the two sides do not trust each other. I believe there will be a strike.
      Spring training will be delayed this year and there may be a shortened season. Until the teams can go back to filling stadiums there will be revenue lost. The longer the owners can delay the season the better for them to recover their profit margins. The players want to play but their wants are not reality based.

      • It’s a tough situation all around. The prime years of an average player is 5-8 years, and the first 5 years are team controlled. The players lost 2/3 of their salary last year. That cost Turner about 10M. Who knows about this year? The virus is raging now way worse than at any time last season. Next year, striking could cost them another chunk. A guy like Betts has nothing to worry about, but for a 30 year old late bloomer like Muncy, the timing is brutal. Meanwhile the owners can’t sell tickets. We as fans, stuck at home riding out a pandemic, are dying for one of our few at home, time killing, pleasures, watching games, having to suffer through abbreviated seasons and worry about labor strikes. And for Dodger fans, it’s not every year you’re going to have such a dominant team.

  2. I am a Turner fan, but would I trade him even up for Matt Chapman? In a nano-second. How about for Suarez? Maybe take .5 second to make that trade.

    • That’s not the point of ranking. You’d take both those players over JT because they’re younger and you presume JT will slow down while they will produce. I’d agree with you about Chapman but not so sure about Suarez. The ranking is an objective result of production now. Last season JT posted an OPS+ of 135. Suarez and Chapman have exceeded that number once in their careers and it wasn’t either of the last two. In 2019, Suarez hit 49 HRs but he struck out 189 times (lead the league) and his OPS+ was 132. JT? 131 – his lowest of the last 4 seasons. Furthermore, JT earned 1.5 WAR last season. WAR purports to include defense in it’s calculation. Suarez earned .7 and Chapman 1.2.

      Top 10 changes year by year so the question isn’t would you trade even up but who would you take for the single season. There is a better than even chance JT will out-perform either offensively in 2021.

      • When I rank players I make it simple, would I trade this player for that player. As of today, offense & defense, I would take Chapman and Suarez over Turner.

  3. Agree. Love JT, but he is not ahead of some of those names on the list. Still, just a reminder that he is a Top 10 3B and the Dodgers need to resolve the contract issues now. Or show their hand by trading – at this point – for another 3B. Without Turner, Hernandez and Pedersen the lineup is not as good as last years. “If you are not moving forward, then you are heading backwards.”

    • Exactly, rainbirdmuse. At this time Dodger lineup and over all offense is not close to what it was in 2020. And if no JT then since there’s not much left on FA market, a trade would have to be made. And if the DH is not in NL in 2021, that weakens the lineup even further. I got to figure the UNION and team management are not looking forward to having their front line pitching having to bat either.

  4. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and trade for Arenado. I know it is an expensive move, but it would solidify the future on a number of fronts (better defense, better right handed offense, long-term stability. While the Dodgers have a couple of in-house people who could pan out in the next year or two, Arenado is a known quantity. This will affect their potential for signing long-term contracts for Bellinger, Seager, and Kershaw, but they could worry about that next year, or the next. Things change and we really do not know how valuable either of those three will be then. Arenado seems to be expensive, but that is what great players are getting. In two years, his salary will be considered a bargain.

  5. NO to arenado, not good outside Co.
    NO to chapman, strikes out nearly 25% of the time, and has never had a good batting average
    NO to suarez strikes too much

    The list should be:

    Ramirez
    Bryant
    Story
    Baez
    Correa

    Probably in that order.

  6. Cubs To Sign Joc Pederson
    By Steve Adams | January 29, 2021 at 7:25am CDT

    The Cubs are in agreement on a deal with free-agent outfielder Joc Pederson, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). The Excel Sports Management client’s contract is still pending the completion of a physical.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading…

0