Nationals acquire INF Trea Turner

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by Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals acquired infielder Trea Turner from the San Diego Padres on Sunday, completing the Dec. 18, 2014 three-team trade in which Washington acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Ross and a Player to be Named from the Padres. In exchange, the Nationals sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League left-handed pitcher Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays. President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

Turner, 21, joins the Nationals after hitting .322 (73-for-227) with 13 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 35 RBI, 24 walks, 11 stolen bases and 31 runs scored in 58 games for San Diego’s Double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions. He posted a .385 on-base percentage, a .471 slugging percentage and an .856 OPS along the way. His .322 average ranked third and his .471 slugging percentage tied for sixth in the Texas League at the time of the trade. Turner was a non-roster invitee to the Padres 2015 Major League Spring Training, appearing in seven games for San Diego.

“We’re happy to complete this trade and add an exceptional talent to our fold,” Rizzo said. “From the outset, this was a complex deal, but we thought it was one that would better our organization for the present as well as the long term. That’s always our goal. We look forward to getting Trea into our Minor League system.”

A first-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (13th overall), Turner entered the 2015 season rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Padres’ chain and the No. 65 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. In 127 Minor League games, Turner has posted a .322 average, a .397 on-base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage. He boasts advanced speed and base running ability. According to Baseball America, Turner had the “Best Strike-Zone Discipline,” and was the “Best Athlete” and “Best Defensive Infielder” in the San Diego Minor League system prior to the trade to Washington.

In his first professional season, Turner began the 2014 campaign with Short-Season Single-A Eugene before being promoted to Single-A Fort Wayne after 23 games. He was named the Padres’ Minor League Defensive Player of the Year, an Organizational All-Star by MLB.com and the No. 2 prospect in the Midwest League by Baseball America after committing just four errors in 248 total chances (.984 fielding percentage) in 50 games at shortstop between the two levels. At the plate, in 69 games (19 as DH), he hit .323 (90-for-279) with 16 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 24 RBI, 35 walks, 23 stolen bases and 45 runs scored after joining the organization following the 2014 draft.

Turner attended North Carolina State University and is a native of Lake Worth, FL. Following his junior collegiate season, he was named first-team All-ACC, second-team All-American by Perfect Game and a third-team All-American by Baseball America. He led NCAA Division 1 with 55 stolen bases as a freshman in 2012 and was a key cog in North Carolina State’s journey to the 2013 College World Series.

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