Clayton Kershaw Praises Justin Turner For Being ‘Model Of Consistency’
Via Dodger Blue:
Since signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014, Justin Turner has established himself as one of the best third basemen in all of baseball. In four seasons with the club, he has hit .303/.378/.502 with 113 doubles and 71 home runs over 1,926 plate appearances and 516 games.
In addition to his production at the plate, Turner also provides elite defense at the hot corner and consistently ranks near the top in numerous defensive metrics. To no surprise, the Long Beach, Calif., native is one of the most valuable players by WAR, accumulating a total of 18.9 (Baseball-Reference) during his time with the Dodgers.
Turner has also taken on a leadership role among fellow teammates. Earlier in the year, Yasiel Puig deemed him a “big leader”, adding that he’s always the one speaking at meetings. When A.J. Ellis was traded, he referred to Turner as the leader of the clubhouse.
Another teammate in Clayton Kershaw recently praised Turner’s work ethic and presence, via Marc Carig of Newsday:
“He’s that model of consistency,” Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said. “The last two or three years he’s been one of the best hitters in the league and one of the best players. The clubhouse presence is huge for us.”
Last offseason, the Dodgers re-signed Turner to a four-year contract to keep him in the fold for the foreseeable future. He proceeded to enjoy a career-year in 2017, where he hit .322/.415/.530/ with 32 doubles, 21 home runs and 71 RBI over 543 plate appearances (130 games).
The 33-year-old was selected to his first All-Star team, with the help of Dodgers fans, and placed eighth in National League MVP voting. In the postseason, Turner seemingly rose to the occasion more often than not.
On the 29-year anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Turner followed suit with one of his own to propel the Dodgers to a 2-0 lead over the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series.
The Dodgers went on to advance to their first Fall Classic in 29 years, as Turner earned co-MVP honors with teammate Chris Taylor for his offensive performance in the matchup. He later added two more doubles and another homer in the World Series, where the Houston Astros claimed victory in seven games.
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