Justin Turner Overdrive. I used that nickname is a lot of #LineupFun tweets this year. His 2018 was abbreviated due to a hit-by-pitch in spring training that broke our hearts, and Justin Turner’s wrist. He came back and gave us another impressive season.
Before I delve into the details of his season, I want to touch on a point. With shocking production of Max Muncy, Bellinger’s odd season, the hot and cold spells of Grandal, the peaks and valleys of Kiké, the strikeout issues of Taylor, the resurgence of Kemp, etc etc…Justin Turner’s consistency seemed largely overlooked. Dodger fans seem to take for granted at times the elite consistency of Justin Turner.
Obviously Justin Turner didn’t get started until May 15th. We lost 2 straight games to the Marlins in Miami, but in just his 3rd game back, JT went 3 for 4 and drove in 5 RBI’s. The Dodgers won that game 7-0. The Dodgers went 17-6 in their next 23 games. To say his presence in the lineup was missed is an understatement.
- AVG: .312
- OBP: .406 (2nd year in a row he had an OBP over .400
- OPS: .924
- SLG: .518
- WAR: 4.5
He especially got hot in August. JT was blistering in August. He was hot enough to win the NL player of the month in August. He hit .402 with an OBP of .492 that month. Of his 39 hits in August, 6 were home runs, and 11 doubles. Justin Turner posted a 1.213 OPS. He was on base just about EVERY other plate appearance. That’s a career month.
a 4.5 WAR in a shortened (103 game season) is damned impressive. Per baseball reference, his defensive WAR rating was moderately above average. The eye test tends to show him to be an impressive and elite fielder.
Let’s take a look at his red hot (pun absolutely intended) August.
Here I am including a 4 hit game he had in late September agains the Rockies. When your best hitter, your catalyst, has a 4 hit game against the team we had to play a game 163 to wrest the division from, it means he’s important.
Justin Turner’s presence in our lineup was definitely felt and needed. We were glad to have him ready to rock in October.
I remember having a conversation with another Dodgers Nation writer, who said it didn’t seem like Justin Turner had a very good postseason. Overall however, he hit .298 with a home run, and 3 doubles. This isn’t a great postseason perhaps if we judged it on Justin Turner’s postseason reputation, however. Last year in the NLCS Justin Turner had one of most iconic Dodger moments in postseason history. That’s a pretty tall order to top, and JT understandably couldn’t quite do it. He DID have some big hits this postseason, though. None were probably bigger than this go ahead home run that won us game 2 of the NLCS.
In the World Series, he hit .333 with 2 doubles (8 hits total.) Hitting .333 in the World Series is rare these days, and despite the Dodgers loss, his performance in that series shouldn’t be missed.
I don’t deny I am a Justin Turner fanboy. He’s an LA guy through and through, and over the years he has made a huge fan out of me. I proudly bought his jersey before the season in 2018, and I wear it every time I watch a Dodger game. Dodger fans feel a sense of magic for Justin Turner. When he’s in the box, Dodger fans feel very confident that he can provide a big hit. Despite turning 34, the Dodgers can expect to see the same into 2019.
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