Justin Turner

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For the Australian rugby player, see Justin Turner (rugby union).
Justin Turner
2015 20 May Justin Turner.jpg
Turner with the Dodgers in 2015
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 10
Third baseman / Second baseman
Born: (1984-11-23) November 23, 1984 (age 32)
Long Beach, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 9, 2009, for the Baltimore Orioles
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Batting average .282
Home runs 58
Runs batted in 282
Career highlights and awards

Justin Matthew Turner (born November 23, 1984) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets. Turner also has experience playing second base, shortstop, and first base.[1]

Early life[edit]

Justin Matthew Turner was born in Long Beach, California, to John and Betsy Turner. He has one younger sister.[2]

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 majored in kinesiology and played college baseball for the Titans. 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. Many CWS fans that year remember him as the player who was hit in the face by a fastball after going 3 for 3 including a HR.[2] The next year he tasted victory in a two-game final over Texas, as Fullerton won the 2004 College World Series.[2]

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.[1][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 .921 OPS.[4] He was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga within two years, finishing the 2008 season, at age 23, with a .289 average and a .792 OPS at that level.[4]

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.[5] 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 .749 OPS.[4]

The Orioles purchased Turner's contract on September 8, 2009.[3] 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).[8]

Turner was invited to spring training as a member of the 40-man roster, but was demoted to Norfolk at the end of camp. 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.[3] In 17 games with the Orioles, he hit .111 (3 hits in 27 at-bats).[8]

New York Mets[edit]

Justin Turner at bat with the Mets in 2011.

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 Turner back up.[11] He 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.[12] 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.[13] With this record and other impressive stats, Turner was named the NL Rookie of the Month for May 2011.[14] He was the first Met to win the award since its creation in 2001.[14]

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.[15] In 301 games with the Mets over four seasons, he hit .265.[8]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

Turner (r) warms up alongside Scott Van Slyke at AT&T Park on May 20, 2015

Following his release from the Mets, Turner had not yet found a new employer when Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach saw Turner hitting at a Cal State Fullerton Alumni game.[16] Turner signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers on February 5, 2014,[3] with an invitation to spring training. His contract was purchased by the Dodgers on March 16 and he was added to the Major League roster.[17]

Turner had a breakout season in 2014, playing 109 games due 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.[8] On January 16, 2015, he signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Dodgers, avoiding salary arbitration.[3][18] He became the starting third baseman for much of the 2015 season and hit .294 with a career high 16 homers and 60 RBI.[8]

In the 2015 National League Division Series against his former team the Mets, Turner led the Dodgers with 10 hits in 19 ABs for a .526 average, with an LDS record 6 of those hits being doubles.[19] After the Dodgers were eliminated from the post-season, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.[20] He signed a new one year, $5.1 million, contract with the Dodgers in order to avoid salary arbitration in January 2016.[21]

In 2016, Turner played in a career-high 151 games, and also had career highs in home runs (27) and RBI (90) while batting .275.[8] He had six hits (including a home run) in 15 at-bats in the 2016 National League Division Series, but struggled in the 2016 National League Championship Series, hitting only .200.[8]

On December 23, 2016, the Dodgers announced that they had re-signed Turner to a four-year contract valued at $64 million.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Justin Turner". The Baseball Cube. 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "2 – Justin Turner". Cal State Fullerton Athletics. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Justin Turner". Baseball Prospectus. 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Justin Turner Career Stats". Minor League Baseball. 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Fordin, Spencer (10 December 2008). "Trade starts dominoes falling for O's". MLB.com. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "September 8, 2009, Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "September 11, 2009, Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Justin Turner". Baseball-Reference.com. 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Melewski, Steve (12 April 2010). "Roberts to the DL now official". Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Rubin, Adam (17 July 2010). "Mets call up Turner; Reyes sits again". ESPN. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Dierkes, Tim (19 April 2011). "Mets Designate Brad Emaus For Assignment". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (15 May 2011). "METS: Justin Turner hits first career HR in win over Astros". New Haven Register. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Turner Sets Mets RBI Record In 7-3 Loss To Yankees". New York Mets Report. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Justin Turner Of The New York Mets Voted Winner Of The Gillette Presents National League Rookie Of The Month Award For May (press release)". MLB.com. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Mets Non-Tender Valdespin, Hefner, Atchison, Quintanilla And Turner". CBS Radio New York. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Timing is everything for late blooming Justin Turner". 17 March 2017. 
  17. ^ Stephen, Eric (16 March 2014). "Justin Turner makes team, Dodgers reassign Miguel Olivo". True Blue LA. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  18. ^ Stephen, Eric (16 January 2015). "Dodgers avoid arbitration with Justin Turner". True Blue LA. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "2015 MLB postseason stats". MLB.com. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  20. ^ Stephen, Eric (October 20, 2015). "Justin Turner to have left knee surgery on Thursday". Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  21. ^ Stephen, Eric (January 15, 2016). "Justin Turner reportedly signs 1-year, $5.1 million deal, avoids arbitration". SB Nation. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  22. ^ Staff (December 23, 2016). "Justin Turner, Dodgers finalize $64M, 4-year contract". Associated Press. Retrieved December 23, 2016 – via USA Today. 

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