Editor's Note: This post originally ran on May 16th, and is being republished with the news that Turner has been called up by the Nationals. It appears that he will more likely see time in center field than at shortstop given how well Danny Espinosa is now hitting and how poorly the Nationals' center fielders are struggling.
No one ever wants to take anything away from a player who is ranked as baseball’s top prospect. So, before I say anything, I just want to apologize in advance to Lucas Giolito.
The Washington Nationals are clearly a team that will be in the thick of things at the end of summer. They have great pitching and some guy named Bryce (or is it Royce?) Harper. This, however, is where my previous apology comes in. Lucas, they just don't need you right now. I'm sorry! The Nationals need some major help at the shortstop position. Danny Espinosa and his .214/.314/.630 is just not cutting it for a team that wants to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Jason Hunt, writer for FakeTeams, included Turner in his Week 5 Buy and Hold article on May 8:
Turner has stolen five bases and hit .400 over the past week, but saw his batting average drop to .336. Honestly, I am not sure how much longer that the Nationals will continue to run Danny Espinosa out there every day with his .176 batting average with almost no power production.
The positives are that he is the Nats' #2 prospect and #9 prospect in all of baseball for a reason. He can hit and his defense is more than enough to keep his bat in the lineup every day once given the opportunity. He also has gap power which Washington hasn't seen at the position since the departure of Ian Desmond. He won't be asked to carry the team on his back, as it is Harper's team, but rather he will be asked to perform better than Espinosa. This should not be a hard task for him to accomplish!
One negative for Turner is that his manager, Dusty Baker, seems to hate rookies. Just ask Devin Mesoraco. This will lead to Baker batting Turner at the bottom of his lineup card as he has with Espinosa. Not a great fantasy spot for your shortstop to be hitting from. Turner is also probably two-plus weeks from a call up as the Nationals will want to add that extra year of service time to avoid earlier arbitration.
At this point Turner should definitely be owned. Just don't expect great things to happen right away. However my advice would be to pick him up, let him get acclimated to the Show, and then enjoy solid production from your starting SS spot moving forward.
Side note: I recently traded Trea Turner for Duane Underwood, Amir Garrett, and Jimmy Nelson as I needed some pitching help. Turner is a solid piece that demands a large return.