2. Justin Turner
Any break Justin Turner can get as he ages would be much appreciated. Unfortunately, he might be losing a benefit in 2023 … just as the Dodgers have to decide whether or not to pick up his team option for his age-38 season.
Already a difficult decision regardless for someone who’s become a franchise icon, but now it’s been made all the more difficult thanks to some rule changes beyond anyone’s control.
Turner was the polar opposite of Muncy in 2021, rarely being shifted upon and facing almost the exact reverse splits from what the slugging first baseman (or second baseman?!) encountered. The third baseman saw 10.6% shifts and 89.4% typical alignments, and used his limited plate appearances with a wonky infield to help beef up his season averages.
During the bulk of his ABs, Turner posted a .344 wOBA against a classic MLB defense. But in his 65 plate appearances against the shift, he crushed the baseball to the tune of a .476 mark, blowing the doors off his averages in the smaller sample size.
Of course, Turner’s 2023 season will look the same as the vast majority of his 2021 campaign. Losing those 65-70 plate appearances, though, takes free offense off the board for LA.