Dodgers News: Justin Turner Ranked Top-10 Third Baseman For 2022 Season By ESPN’s Buster Olney

Justin Turner led the Los Angeles Dodgers in games played last year and now was ranked by ESPN’s Buster Olney as a top-10 third baseman heading into the 2022 regular season.

Ahead of Turner on the list are Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians at No. 1, Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado, Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros, Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox, and the Atlanta Braves’ Austin Riley.

The Oakland Athletics’ Matt Chapman (No. 8), Josh Donaldson of the Minnesota Twins, and Yoan Moncada of the Chicago White Sox rounded out Olney’s top-10 ranking of third basemen.

Olney amassed his annual list by receiving input from evaluators and others around baseball. The Dodgers also have been represented by Blake Treinen (No. 4, relief pitcher), Walker Buehler (No. 6, starting pitcher), Will Smith (No. 4, catcher), Max Muncy (No. 7, first base), Chris Taylor (No. 8, second base), Trea Turner (No. 3, shortstop), AJ Pollock (No. 7, left field), Cody Bellinger (No. 7, center field) and Mookie Betts (No. 5, right field).

After re-signing on a two-year contract that included a team option for 2024, Justin Turner joined the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch with added motivation to be with them on the field for a World Series celebration.

“Obviously, getting taken out of the game, trying to figure out what was happening, winning the World Series, being thrilled seeing Julio get that last out, you finally accomplished your goal,” he said.

“But then for me, sitting back in that room and watching the guys dogpile, personally it felt like it was the third time I had to sit and watch a team celebrate winning a World Series.”

Turner then got off to a hot start and slugged six home runs during April, which set a career high for the first month of a regular season. He entered 2021 having hit three career homers in March/April; one each during the 2015, 2017 and 2019 seasons.

Turner endured some struggles in May but heated up again in the summer months. He finished the season batting .278/.361/.471 with 22 doubles, 27 home runs and 87 RBI over 151 games.

Turner’s 2022 outlook

With at least one more year on his contract with the Dodgers, Turner again will be the club’s everyday third baseman but presumably would be a candidate to serve as the designated hitter if it is implemented in the National League as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Still adhering to a Whole30 lifestyle to help ensure better health, Turner recently said he had made quality progress in the recovery from a Grade 2 left hamstring strain suffered during the NL Championship Series.

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