In an attempt to halt their free fall from the playoff picture the Nationals have made an unexpected move, calling up 22-year-old shortstop prospect Trea Turner from Triple-A.
Turner was the Padres’ first-round draft pick in 2013 and came to the Nationals this offseason in the big three-team deal that also involved the Rays. Going into the season he ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect and he’s boosted his stock by hitting .322 with eight homers and an .828 OPS in 116 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
Turner has been a full-time shortstop in the minors, which is noteworthy because the Nationals have former All-Star Ian Desmond there. Desmond is an impending free agent having a bad season with a .227 batting average and .663 OPS in 116 games. However, twice this week the Nationals had Turner play second base at Triple-A, suggesting he could instead take the spot of Danny Espinosa.
Turner is one of the best shortstop prospects in baseball and a long-term building block, but it’ll be interesting to see where and how often he plays for the Nationals down the stretch.