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2022 Dodgers in review: Trea Turner

The rare shortstop with 100 runs scored & 100 RBI in the same season

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When Andrew Friedman swung one of the biggest trades of our generation, acquiring both Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in the deadline of the 2021 season, the primary objective was in strengthening the Dodgers’ core for that run, but a big factor was also the knowledge that Trea Turner could easily fill in at SS in 2022 and replace free agent Corey Seager.

Turner did exactly that after Seager left for the Rangers, and did so quite marvelously. The former Nat was a pillar of the Dodgers offense, and a great source of stability, playing in a whopping 160 games in this day and age, while leading the league in plate appearances and at-bats.

These were big shoes to fill, replacing a player which made history with this team, earning back-to-back NLCS and World Series MVP nods during the 2020 title run, but Turner proved more than capable, even if he ultimately had a down year offensively from what he had produced in the prior two seasons.

It’s definitely interesting to look back at a campaign that had, for the most part, positive connotations for the Dodgers’ shortstop, and acknowledge that even though he was a positive force in this lineup, he didn’t completely fulfill his potential.

Trea Turner’s last three seasons

Stat 2020-21 2022
Stat 2020-21 2022
AVG .330 .298
OBP .380 .343
SLG .551 .466
ISO .221 .169
OPS+ 150 121
wRC+ 147 128
Source: Baseball Reference & FanGraphs

Maybe it’s the fact, this was Turner’s first full season with the Dodgers, so the image of significantly better production wasn’t firmly entrenched in the minds of Dodgers’ fans, or maybe it was the much larger discrepancy in what they can produce and what they did from other players such as Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and company, or maybe it was a combination of things.

The reality is that Turner was around, he was reliable and well above average, but he didn’t play up to his standards, even if his 2022 campaign ultimately resulted in his second All-Star nod (and first as a starter), his first Silver Slugger Award, and an 11th-place finish in National League Most Valuable Player voting.

Turner was in line for a much stronger campaign during the first half, and for the majority of the year, his season and that of Freddie Freeman were tied together. The two had a streak of consecutive games played until very late in the year, and competed neck and neck for the title of most hits, with Turner falling off late in the batting title race.

Through the first half, Turner was on pace for his third straight campaign hitting above .300, and had tallied a whopping 68 runs batted in before the All-Star break, but the “second half” wasn’t as kind to the Dodgers’ superstar shortstop.

Turner fell off the batting crown race and posted a mediocre .762 OPS in the final 70 games, including just .260/.304/.409 in September and October to finish off the regular season.

With some glove work that was certainly an improvement on what he showed in the shorter 2020 season, Turner overall ended up with the second highest fWAR of his career (6.3), and certainly wasn’t some huge disappointment.

However, it is easy to wonder just how high the ceiling is, considering he didn’t come close to his top level offensively.

Turner failed to finish off the year well, but he was one of the few Dodgers hitters who were able to leave the National LEague Division Series feeling like they didn’t completely let down the offense. Turner had a pretty strong series against the San Diego Padres, getting an extra-base hit in three of the four games.

The Dodgers’ shortstop went 6 for 18, with two home runs and two doubles, driving in two, and scoring four times. Turner’s 1.111 OPS in the playoffs made him one of only four Dodgers with an OPS over .538.

Turner is a free agent, and although the Dodgers aren’t necessarily opposed to bringing him back, they’re certainly not the front runners to secure the long-term services of Turner, and it’s looking increasingly likely that he won’t return.

If Turner signs elsewhere, he will join Manny Machado in a list of perennial all-stars with short stints at Dodger Stadium, if he comes back, he joins Mookie Betts in perennial all-stars that came over via trade, nearing free agency, and chose to stick around.

Either way, Turner was a big part of the 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers, and will be well remembered for it.

2022 particulars

Age: 29

Stats: .298/.343/.466, 128 wRC+, 39 doubles, 21 HR, 27 SB, 4.9 bWAR, 6.3 fWAR

Salary: $21 million

Game of the year

Trea Turner hit a couple of home runs and drove in three in a 7-1 win over the Angels on July 16 in Anaheim.

Roster status

Turner, one of the most coveted free agents on the market, agreed to terms with the Phillies on a reported 11-year, $300-million contract. He declined a qualifying offer, meaning the Dodgers will receive a pick just after the fourth round in the 2023 MLB Draft as compensation.