Dodgers: Ranking the team’s most untouchable pieces

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May 8, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) runs off the field after the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) runs off the field after the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) throws on the run after fielding a ball hit by Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour (not pictured) at first in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium. Turner’s throw was not in time to retire Bour who reached on an infield single on the play. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

Justin Turner

I had written before the season started on how Justin Turner has become the new Adrian Gonzalez regarding being the new “most reliable bat” in the lineup. He is great at working counts, getting hits when most needed, and has proven to be clutch in the postseason.

In his 39 games (162 plate appearances) before going down with an injury, he was raking. He had an astonishing .379/.453/.493 slash line with 13 doubles. In his three-plus years as a Dodger, JT has hit .351 with runners in scoring position. He’s transformed into a true-middle-of-the-order bat and probably LA’s most clutch hitter.

However, as good as he has been at the plate this season, he’s been just as reliable on defense, if not better. He has been a defensive rock and has accumulated a highlight reel of defensive plays in 2017. He may not be a Nolan Arenado because of the lack of range and elite arm, but his glove and reflexes are on par. Long story short, he’s become an elite defensive player too.

Turner’s presence extends beyond the field though. He is the heart and soul of the Dodgers’ clubhouse and the undisputed team leader. He is always upbeat and is perfect for team chemistry. His story of grinding as a fringe major leaguer to star in Los Angeles is also a good thing to have around the younger members of the team because it sets an example that hard work is everything and not to take talent for granted.

His rise has sky-rocketed him into “fan-favorite” status so moving him would possibly cause an uproar from the Dodger fan base.  And it means a little extra when your franchise is the one that a journeyman became an elite player with.

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