Justin Turner

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For the Australian rugby player, see Justin Turner (rugby union).
Justin Turner
Justin Turner on September 1, 2011.jpg
Turner with the New York Mets
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 10
Born: (1984-11-23) November 23, 1984 (age 30)
Long Beach, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 9, 2009 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Batting average .281
Home Runs 15
Runs batted in 132
Career highlights and awards

Justin Matthew Turner (born November 23, 1984) is a professional baseball utility infielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played in MLB for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets. Turner has experience playing mainly third and second base; however, he has played shortstop, first base and (one inning) in left field.

Early life[edit]

Turner attended Mayfair High School in Lakewood, California, earning three-time All-Suburban first team honors as a shortstop and second baseman. He hit .514 in league play as a senior, earning most valuable player honors en route to a league title. He attended California State University, Fullerton, where he played college baseball for the Cal State Fullerton Titans baseball team. He earned freshman All-American honors from Baseball America in 2003 after quickly taking over as the starting second baseman. He was named to the 2003 College World Series all-tournament team as a shortstop. He tasted victory in a two-game final over Texas, as Fullerton won the 2004 College World Series.[1]

Turner was drafted in the 29th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Yankees, but he did not sign. He was drafted in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 2006 draft by the Cincinnati Reds, receiving a $50,000 bonus upon signing with the organization.[2][3]

Baseball career[edit]

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

Turner reported to the Reds' Rookie League affiliate, the Billings Mustangs, where he saw time at all four infield positions and in the outfield, finishing the season with a team-leading .338 batting average and a .922 OPS. He was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga within two years, finishing the season, at age 23, with a .289 average and a .791 OPS at that level.

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

On December 9, 2008, during the Winter Meetings, Turner was traded along with utility player Ryan Freel and infielder Brandon Waring to the Baltimore Orioles, in return for catcher Ramon Hernandez.[4] He was invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee; upon its conclusion, he was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk for the 2009 season. Playing mostly second and third base, he finished the year with a .300 average and a .750 OPS.

The Orioles purchased Turner's contract on September 8, 2009.[5] He made his major league debut the next day at Fenway Park, pinch hitting for Melvin Mora and finishing the game at third base.[6] Three days later, he got his first major league hit at Yankee Stadium, a single to center field off Michael Dunn.[7] He finished the season 3-18, having appeared in 12 games, three of them starts (all at third base).

Turner was invited to spring training as a member of the 40-man roster, but was demoted to Norfolk at the end of camp.[8] However, on April 12, 2010, the Orioles placed starting second baseman Brian Roberts on the 15-day disabled list and recalled Turner from Norfolk.[9] On May 21, 2010 Turner was designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles. In 17 games with the Orioles, he hit .111 (3 hits in 27 at-bats).

New York Mets[edit]

Justin Turner at bat.

On May 25, 2010, Turner was claimed off waivers from the Orioles by the New York Mets and optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. On June 16, Turner was called up to the Mets, with Nick Evans being sent down to Buffalo.[10]

After designating Brad Emaus for assignment on April 19, 2011, the Mets called him back up.[11] Turner hit his first major league home run against the Houston Astros on May 15, 2011 off Aneury Rodriguez. A three-run home run, it capped off a 5-RBI day for Turner. On May 21, in a Subway Series game at Yankee Stadium, Turner collected an RBI in his 7th consecutive game, setting a Mets rookie record for most consecutive games with an RBI. With this record and other impressive stats, Turner was named the NL Rookie of the Month for May 2011. He is the first Met to win the award since its creation in 2001.

In 2012 the Mets converted him to an all-around utility infielder but on May 6, 2012 when shortstop Ruben Tejada went on the disabled list Turner began platooning at shortstop with Jordany Valdespin until Tejada returned.

After the 2013 season, Turner was non-tendered by the Mets, making him a free agent.[12] In 301 games with the Mets over four seasons, he hit .265.

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

On February 5, 2014, he signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers with an invite to spring training. He had his contract purchased by the Dodgers on March 16 and was added to the Major League roster.[13]

Turner had a breakthrough season in 2014, playing 109 games thanks to his versatility and injuries to both Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe. Turner led the team with a .340 batting average, hitting 7 home runs with 43 RBI in 288 at bats. On January 16, 2015, he signed a one-year, $2.5 million, contract with the Dodgers, avoiding salary arbitration.[14]


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