Turner with the Washington Nationals
|Washington Nationals – No. 7|
|Shortstop / Center fielder / Second baseman|
June 30, 1993 |
Lake Worth, Florida
|August 21, 2015, for the Washington Nationals|
(through 2016 season)
|Runs batted in||41|
|Career highlights and awards|
Trea Vance Turner (born June 30, 1993) is an American professional baseball shortstop for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball at North Carolina State University (NC State). The San Diego Padres selected Turner in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and traded him to the Nationals in 2015. Turner made his MLB debut with the Nationals on August 21, 2015.
Developed by the Padres and Nationals primarily as a shortstop, Turner has made most of his appearances at the MLB level in center field and at second base. He is considered one of the fastest runners in Major League Baseball, being clocked at a 22.7 mph max speed at least twice during the 2016 season.
Turner attended Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth, Florida, where he played for his school's baseball team. Turner was lightly recruited by college programs, only receiving scholarship offers from North Carolina State University (NC State) and Florida Atlantic University. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Turner in the 20th round, with the 602nd overall selection, of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft. Turner opted to attend NC State, to play college baseball for the NC State Wolfpack baseball team in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I.
As a freshman in 2012, Turner shifted from the shortstop position to play as a third baseman. That year, he had a .336 batting average, a .432 on-base percentage, and recorded 57 stolen bases while only being caught stealing four times. His 57 steals were more than the team totals of 158 Division I teams, and set an NC State record. He also tied the ACC record for steals in one game with five. Turner was named to the All-Tournament Team in the 2012 ACC Tournament.
In 2013, Turner had a .378 batting average with seven home runs, 41 runs batted in (RBIs), and 27 stolen bases. He was named to the All-ACC first team, and was named a second team All-American by Perfect Game and a third team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Baseball America. He was named a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the best shortstop in NCAA's Division I. That summer, Turner played for the United States national collegiate baseball team. As a junior in 2014, he hit .321 with eight home runs and 26 stolen bases. After the season, he was named the winner of the Brooks Wallace Award.
2014: Drafted and traded
Aaron Fitt of Baseball America considered Turner a likely first round choice in the 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft. The San Diego Padres selected Turner in the first round, with the 13th overall selection. He signed on June 13, receiving a $2.9 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut three days later with the Eugene Emeralds of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. After he batted .228 in 26 games for Eugene, the Padres promoted him to the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Class A Midwest League, where he batted .369 in 46 games. The Padres assigned him to play for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League after the regular season.
On December 19, 2014, the Padres reportedly agreed to trade Turner to the Washington Nationals as a player to be named later as part of a three-team trade, in which the Padres traded Jake Bauers, Burch Smith, and René Rivera to the Tampa Bay Rays and Joe Ross to Washington, and Washington traded Steven Souza and Travis Ott to Tampa Bay, and Tampa traded Wil Myers to San Diego. This unusual arrangement was a result of Turner being ineligible to be traded before mid-June because of MLB rules that prevent players to be traded within a year of their being drafted. Turner's agent, Jeff Berry, stated to the media that it was an unfair process to force him to play half the season for a team that traded him and had no further interest in promoting his development. He claimed he would be filing a grievance through the players union.
2015: Major league debut
Turner reported to spring training with the Padres as a non-roster invitee, and the Padres assigned him to the San Antonio Missions of the Class AA Texas League. He hit .322 with five home runs and 35 RBIs with 11 stolen bases for San Antonio. On June 14, 2015, Turner was sent to the Nationals to complete the trade made in December, and was assigned to the Harrisburg Senators of the Class AA Eastern League. After playing ten games for Harrisburg, the Nationals promoted Turner to the Syracuse Chiefs of the Class AAA International League. Turner represented the Nationals at the 2015 All-Star Futures Game.
On August 21, 2015, the Nationals promoted Turner to the major leagues. He made his major league debut that night. Turner went nine at-bats before collecting his first major league hit on September 3, beating out a ground ball to reach first base safely. He finished the 2015 season with a .225 batting average through 40 at-bats with one home run and one RBI.
In spring training in 2016, Turner competed with Danny Espinosa and Stephen Drew to be the Nationals starting shortstop. The Nationals optioned Turner to Syracuse at the end of spring training. Turner was called up on June 3, 2016, for a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. He went 3-for-3 with a walk in his first game at the major league level of the season, playing second base and shortstop. He was optioned back to Syracuse at the end of the series, as first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was reactivated from paternity leave.
With Michael A. Taylor and Ben Revere turning in lackluster offensive performances as the Nationals' primary center fielders, and Espinosa performing well as the team's everyday shortstop, Turner began getting starts in center field with the Chiefs midway through the season. He debuted in center field on June 27, his first professional appearance as an outfielder, and after being recalled by the Nationals in July, Turner made his first major league start in center field on July 26.
Turner was honored with the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Month Award in the National League for his performance in August 2016, hitting .357 on the month with five home runs and 11 stolen bases.
In 2017, Turner will move back to his natural position of shortstop, after the club acquired Adam Eaton to play center field, and traded starting shortstop Danny Espinosa to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim .
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