Dodgers: Five best positional players over the past decade

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after hitting a three run home run during the sixth inning of game four of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox on October 27, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after hitting a three run home run during the sixth inning of game four of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox on October 27, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 13: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs the bases after hitting a two run homerun in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

1) Justin Turner

What a story. When Justin Turner played on the Mets, he was known as a utility player with red hair. That’s how most fans identified him. And while the color of his hair will always be a defining characteristic, after arriving in Los Angeles, he completely changed his career arc, turning into one of the most consistent hitters in baseball.

Turner’s .304 batting average since joining the Dodgers in 2014 ranks 7th among major league hitters who have played at least 300 games in that timeframe. His on-base percentage ranks 12th, sandwiched between Christian Yelich and Jose Altuve. People usually don’t think of Justin Turner when they list the game’s premier hitters, but over the past six seasons, he has been a hitting savant.

It’s worth mentioning again. He was a utility player for the Mets with a .260 career batting average before returning home to California. In his first season with the Dodgers, he hit .340.

Turner has been productive while appearing in the third most games during the 2010s as a Dodger. He has hit the third most home runs (112), drove in the fourth most RBIs (383), and accumulated the most wins above replacement (25.3).

While Turner has never reached the peak of a Matt Kemp or Cody Bellinger season, he has had multiple seasons that value him as a very good player. Since 2014, five of his six seasons were worth more than four wins above replacement level. He hits for power (averaging nearly 20 home runs over the past four seasons), average, and knows how to handle himself on defense.

Beyond his on-field contributions, it is worth noting his incredible connection with the local community. Along with his wife, Kourtney, he founded the Justin Turner Foundation in 2016 to help homeless veterans, as well as children and families battling life-altering illnesses and diseases.

Justin Turner proves that nice guys can finish first.

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