Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is likely headed to the paternity leave list on Friday. As a result, the club is expected to promote top shortstop prospect Trea Turner to the majors, MLB.com’s William Ladson reports.
Turner, 22, was rated the Nationals’ second-best prospect and #9 overall in baseball coming into this season according to MLB Pipeline. Turner made his major league debut on August 21 last season and ended up hitting .225/.295/.325 in 44 plate appearances.
So far this season, with Triple-A Syracuse, Turner is batting .310/.376/.472 with three home runs, 24 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases.
Ostensibly, the Nationals haven’t yet promoted Turner to limit his service time. As James Wagner of the Washington Post notes, Turner accrued 45 days of service time last season. A full year of service time is 172 days, so he would only need to spend 127 days on the Nationals’ active roster. If the Nationals keep him in the minors long enough, they grant themselves another year of control. That’s great for the team, but bad for player as it delays how soon he can reach arbitration and, later, free agency.