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Washington Nationals promote shortstop prospect Trea Turner

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Trea Turner
Trea Turner
Jeff Nycz

This afternoon, the Washington Nationals promoted shortstop prospect Trea Turner to the major league roster. Acquired as part of the Steven Souza/Wil Myers three-way trade with the San Diego Padres and the Tampa Bay Rays, Turner has made a meteoric rise through the minors, reaching MLB and the National League just over one year after being drafted.

Turner played college baseball at North Carolina State University where he was a three-year starter. He hit .321/.418/.516 with 26 stolen bases in 2015, earning a spot in the first round of the draft, 13th overall to the Padres. He hit .323/.406/.448 with 23 steals in his pro debut.

The Nationals coveted Turner but the Padres got to him first on draft day. Washington got their man however, with Turner being included as the player-to-be-named-later in the big trade. However, MLB rules (since changed) prevented Turner from being officially traded until one year after the draft, meaning that he began 2015 in the Padres system before coming over to the Nationals in June.

Turner's 2015 season was thus split between three clubs: Double-A San Antonio in the Padres system, Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse with the Nationals. He's been excellent everywhere, hitting a combined .322/.370/.458 with 24 doubles, eight homers, 29 steals, 38 walks, and 97 strikeouts in 454 at-bats. He's also played well defensively, showing the range, hands, arm strength, and reliability to be a quality major league shortstop.

The numbers are not lying with this one: Turner can do a little of everything well and most things very well: hit for average, show some power, steal bases at a viable percentage, field his position cleanly. If you are looking to nitpick, his strikeout rate since reaching Triple-A has increased, albeit not to a dangerous level, and he can stand to lower his error rate. Both factors should improve with experience.

I had Turner rated a Grade B pre-season. He's at least an A- at this point and ranked ninth on the Top 75 Mid-season prospects list.