We start our offseason with the start of our 2016 player reviews. The Dodgers had 55 different players play for them during the season, but I plan to do a review of every player who occupied a spot on the 40-man roster, which includes players added since the end of last season, even if they didn’t last long.
The goal is to review one player every day through the end of the calendar year, which works out because there are 69 players and 69 days remaining in 2016. Nice.
Up first is Justin Turner, a staple at the hot corner and in the heart of the Dodgers’ batting order.
What went right
In his third season with the Dodgers, Turner showed the productivity of his previous two years that made him arguably one of the best non-roster invitees in franchise history with the durability of an everyday player, after offseason knee surgery.
Turner tied for the team lead in home runs (27) and RBI (90), and set career highs in games (151), plate appearances (622), runs scored (79), hits (153), doubles (34), triples (3), home runs, RBI, walks (48) and total bases (274).
He proved durable at the hot corner, too. Turner’s 138 starts at third base were the most by any Dodger at the position since Adrian Beltre left following the 2004 season.
He was also one of the leaders in the clubhouse, and is a finalist of the MLBPA Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which recognizes contributions both on and off the field.
Turner carried over his success into the postseason, hitting .286/.457/.514 with two home runs, a triple and eight RBI in 11 games. Along the way, he set a franchise record by reaching base in 14 straight postseason games.
Turner picked the perfect time to have a career year, heading into free agency as one of the most coveted bats on the market.
What went wrong
Despite starting the season healthy, Turner got off to a slow start in 2016. Through June 6, the Dodgers’ 59th game — more than one-third of the season — Turner was hitting just .233/.322/.326 with three home runs and 17 RBI.
Turner has always had reverse splits in his career, hitting better against right-handed pitchers than lefties. But in 2016 it was extreme, hitting just .209/.303/.337 against southpaws.
Stats: .275/.339/.493, 27 HR, 34 doubles, 90 RBI, 124 OPS+, 124 wRC+, 4.9 rWAR, 5.6 fWAR
Salary: $5.1 million
Game of the year
On June 17 against the Brewers, Turner homered in the first inning, then tied the game with another solo home run in the eighth. He topped off his night when, in the 10th inning with the bases loaded, Turner singled in the game-winner for a walk-off win over Milwaukee. Turner drove in all five runs in the win.
Turner will be a free agent at 6 a.m. PT the morning after the World Series ends. If the Dodgers don’t re-sign him first, they will almost certainly extend Turner a qualifying offer, meaning they will receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.