3. Justin Turner, Third Base
Justin Turner is becoming ole’ reliable for the Dodgers. As the oldest starter in the Dodgers’ lineup, Turner provides great at-bats in the middle of the Dodgers order. Turner is coming off of what I’ll say was the best season of his career as he slashed a career-high .322/.415/.530 while ranking second on the Dodgers in WAR (5.5).
The run production numbers are a little down for what you’d like to see out of your number three hitter. Turner has 161 RBI in the past two seasons as the Dodgers’ number three hitter. Ideally, you’d like to see those numbers about around the 90-110 range. But that’s not the Dodgers MO.
What makes this lineup so difficult for opposing pitchers is that they can hurt you at any part of their order. We already talked about Taylor and Seager, between these three atop the order, the Dodgers had 220 RBIs combined last season.
It actually makes the lineup more difficult for pitchers when the top of the order averages 70+ RBI opposed to one hitter driving in half of the team’s runs. Of course, you’d like to see Turner’s get closer to the century mark, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Turner is developing into one of the game’s best pure hitters. His high average allows the team to extend innings, which often leads to crooked numbers being put up on the scoreboard. Let’s continue to enjoy Turner at the number three slot.