In 2017, Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner opened the season as a fantasy baseball darling. Will he receive the same treatment in this year’s fantasy rankings and drafts?
No matter how exciting he is on the field, Trea Turner has yet to reach expectations. Granted, the sample size is small. The 24-year-old has yet to reach 100 games played in a season with last year’s 98 leading the way. If not for injuries, the exciting Washington Nationals shortstop would have surely had more time to put up far better numbers.
Along with nagging injuries, one of Turner’s problems last season was the rough start. By mid-June, he was hitting in the .260s with an OBP below .300. Turner’s inability to draw walks hurt him and may have stolen away some of the fantasy baseball value he previously held.
Fantasy baseball wins come differently from regular victories. Trea Turner’s ability to steal bases is his greatest asset and the main reason why he’s high on many draft boards. If his bat catches fire, Turner is even greater.
Turner doesn’t hit for as much power as Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, or the 2017 version of Francisco Lindor. However, in fantasy baseball, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In head-to-head leagues, shortstop isn’t always the best place to get your home runs. That’s what those slow-moving first base sluggers are for. While Turner has the potential to hit about 20 dingers, it’s his speed that will carry him to the early rounds of most drafts.
Scott White and Heath Cummings of CBS Sports have factored this information and more into their shortstop rankings for 2018. White has Turner placed at number two behind Correa. Meanwhile, Cummings continues to believe Turner is the best shortstop out there for your fictional baseball team with Correa in the passenger seat. This may, however, be more about devaluing Correa than liking Turner more than White does.
Trea Turner’s underwhelming 2017 season was saved by the 46 stolen bases he amassed in under 100 games. He finished the season with a .284/.338/.451 batting line, which is doable again in 2018.
The worry with Turner is how well he can stay on the field. Turner’s style of play could get him injured more than an average player. He goes hard on each play and risks jamming a thumb each time he slides into second base headfirst. Because of this, anyone with Turner on their roster will benefit from a reliable backup.