The Nationals are headed to the postseason for the third time in five seasons, after winning the National League East. As this will be the first time that many fans across the Majors will be focusing on their roster, here's our attempt to learn the origins of rookie Trea Turner.Trea
The Nationals are headed to the postseason for the third time in five seasons, after winning the National League East. As this will be the first time that many fans across the Majors will be focusing on their roster, here's our attempt to learn the origins of rookie Trea Turner.
Trea Turner, CF
Born: Boynton Beach, Fla.
HS: Park Vista (Fla.) Community High School
College: N.C. State
Minors: Eugene (A-), Fort Wayne (A), San Antonio (AA), Harrisburg (AA), Syracuse (AAA)
Path to Washington: Selected by the Padres in the first round of the 2014 Draft, 13th overall. Was traded to the Nationals in June 2015 to complete a three-team deal that sent Wil Myers to the Padres and Steven Souza Jr. to the Rays the previous winter.
:: Before they were postseason-bound: Select a player ::
Trophy case: National League Rookie of the Month this August. 2016 International League All-Star. Named to 2015 MLB All-Star Futures Game. Won Brooks Wallace Award at N.C. State in 2014 for best shortstop.
Famous feat(s): Had his first multi-home run game on Sept. 9 against the Phillies, which included a walk-off homer with two outs in the ninth inning. Went 3-for-3 in his 2016 season debut. Had 34 multihit games in his 73 games this season. Led the NCAA in steals with 57 his freshman year in 2012. Played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2012-13.
You might not know: Turner has played baseball in Japan, The Netherlands and Cuba, including at Cuba's Estadio Latinoamericano while on the Collegiate National Team. "We played them in a five-game series, and we played against José Abreu, Rusney Castillo and Raisel Iglesias, played against Yasmany Tomás. That stadium is pretty cool, pretty neat," he said.
Six degrees of Willie Aikens: N.C. State made the College World Series for the first time in 45 years in 2013 thanks to Turner at the top of the order -- and his teammate, now-White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodón, at the top of the rotation. Rodon was drafted No. 3 overall by Chicago a year later, 10 picks ahead of Turner. He recently tied an AL record by striking out the first seven batters he faced in his start on Sept. 30.
"Whenever you see a guy like Trea Turner step into the box, sometimes you might be doing something like getting water or going to the bathroom, but if I have to go to the bathroom, I'm not going for that at-bat," Rodon told the Fayetteville Observer before the 2012 College World Series. "I'm gonna stay and watch because it's going to be something special."
No slapping: Turner might be one of the fastest players around baseball, but the 6-foot-1, 185-pound speedster also has double-digit home runs (13) his rookie season. So don't try to tell him to hit the ball on the ground to try to beat out infield hits.
"People tell me that," he said. "And I'm like, 'Shut up,'" Turner told The Washington Post. "That's not how you become a good hitter. Sure I may get more hits here and there, but I want to be like Daniel Murphy. I want to be like Bryce Harper. I want to be like any of the best hitters."
Little Trea: Turner, who grew up in Florida, was there for all of the Marlins' run to the 2003 World Series title, when he was 10 years old. His dad bought postseason tickets on the first-base side, about 10 rows back in the upper deck. "I went to all three playoff series and went to all three games in World Series," Turner remembered. That Marlins team had a rookie Miguel Cabrera, but Turner liked Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre, a speedy center fielder like Turner is now -- although Turner has more power.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler.