As the regular season is winding down, there seems to be more and more to talk about with each passing day. A potential Adam Wainwright vs. Max Scherzer showdown in the National League Wildcard game. An injury that could conceivably impact the career of Clayton Kershaw. A Dodgers’ offense finally playing with a sense of urgency.
And, speaking of that offense, there has not been a bigger contributor than infielder Trea Turner.
I’m sure Turner would tell you that he’s prioritizing his team’s upcoming playoff run over a possible NL Most Valuable Player award, but the MVP is definitely something worth talking about.
Some baseball folks still see the MVP race wide open between players like Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Bryce Harper, Austin Riley and even Brandon Crawford. Max Muncy’s probably in the conversation, too. However, after considering the kind of year that Turner has had, it’s hard to think of anyone else snagging the honor.
Sure, Harper’s 1.043 OPS and Tatis’s 46 homers are eye-popping, but Turner’s overall numbers are as well-rounded as anyone. And that’s not even mentioning that he leads the world in batting with his next closest competitor, Soto, behind by a whopping 10 points.
For the season, Turner is hitting .327/.374/.531 with 33 doubles, 27 homers and 73 RBI alongside 32 stolen bases. In 50 games since being dealt to the Dodgers, he has slashed .335/.384/.550, suggesting just how valuable to the team he might be.
Turner’s two-home run, five-RBI performance on Friday night indicates just how well his bat is currently popping.
At the moment, Turner is OPSing .905 for the season, which is first on a Los Angeles squad that has some serious collective power. Next in line with a .897 OPS is Corey Seager, the player who Turner could be replacing as the Los Angeles shortstop next year — another topic we’ll be talking about in great detail during the offseason.
The crazy part about Seager’s recent performance is that he’s slashing a ridiculous .372/.455/.702 in 110 plate appearances over the last month, making him and TTurner one of the most threatening two-three punches in baseball right now.
It’s tough to imagine the Los Angeles offense soaring through the postseason without a hot Seager and Turner. Sure, there are a few other players with decent numbers — see Muncy and Justin Turner — but both have seemingly fallen victim to the offensive inconsistencies the team has seen for most of the year.
Despite the respectable power numbers, Muncy’s season average has fallen to .247. After peaking at a .305 season average in late July, JTurner is now hitting .278 for the season. Mookie Betts is hitting .268, which, if it holds, will be the second-worst average of his career.
Trea is currently leading the way in Los Angeles, and it sure would be nice if a few other players would hop on his, Seager and a healthy AJ Pollock’s train. If they do, the Dodgers might be a team to be reckoned with in the postseason.