Including input from talent evaluators, ESPN’s Buster Olney ranked Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner the eighth-best player at his position. Turner joins Adrian Gonzalez, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager as players to appear on ESPN’s position-by-position rankings.
Chicago Cubs third baseman and 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant was ranked No. 1, followed by Baltimore’s Manny Machado, Colorado’s Nolan Arenado, Toronto’s Josh Donaldson, Texas’ Adrian Beltre, Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria, Seattle’s Kyle Seager, then Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas and Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez after Turner.
This past season was Turner’s first as the Dodgers’ full-time third baseman. In relation to recovering from microfracture knee surgery, Turner got off to a slow start before once again proving to be a reliable right-handed bat in the lineup.
He finished the year batting .275/.339/.493 with 34 doubles, 27 home runs, 90 RBIs and a 124 OPS+ over 151 games. Turner set a career high in doubles, finished tied with Yasmani Grandal for the team lead in home runs, and tied with Adrian Gonzalez for most RBI.
Beyond producing at the plate, Turner played a stellar third base and was named a Gold Glove finalist. Although he lost out to Arenado, Turner compared favorably to most NL players at the position.
The 32-year-old led qualified NL third basemen with a 16.2 defensive rating, per FanGraphs, and his 17.2 UZR/150 led all Major League third basemen, with Beltre’s ranking second (13.2).
In addition, Turner committed just nine errors in 316 chances over 1,224.2 innings at third base this season. His .972 fielding percentage ranked seventh in the Majors among all qualified third basemen.
The Dodgers re-signed Turner to a four-year, $64 million contract in December.