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Turner making most of big league chances

Learning much off the field, Nationals' No. 2 prospect showing value in limited opportunities

WASHINGTON -- Nationals shortstop Trea Turner hasn't had a lot of playing time since he arrived in the big leagues last August, serving mostly as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. But he is not complaining.

"I get to get in there," Turner said. "I will do whatever it takes. Whatever they need -- pinch-running, trying to steal a base, play a couple of innings of defense."

Turner proved what he can do during the Nationals' 5-4, 10-inning victory over the Marlins on Friday night. Entering the game as a pinch-runner for Yunel Escobar in the eighth inning, Turner alertly took third base on a wild pitch and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Ian Desmond.

Video: [email protected]: Turner advances to third on a wild pitch

An inning later, Turner picked up his second career hit, a single to left field off reliever Raudel Lazo. And in the 10th, he made a slick tag to combine with catcher Jose Lobaton in catching Christian Yelich stealing second.

Video: [email protected]: Lobaton fires to Turner to nab Yelich

Turner, who is ranked as the Nationals' No. 2 prospect according to, said he has gained a lot of knowledge from his teammates since his arrival on the big league stage.

"I think I've learned a lot on and off the field, but I've learned a little bit more off the field. Just how to approach every day, how to come in and get your work done and eat the right things," Turner said. "I'm 22 years old, and I've seen how these guys eat. That's something I need to take into this offseason. I'm going to try to gain some weight a little bit. I'm always learning. I'm learning something new every day. I just get out there and keep working."

Turner is expected to replace Ian Desmond as Washington's shortstop in 2016, and Desmond has served as a mentor to Turner, even discusing what to expect while playing the second-base position as well.

"It's awesome how he has treated me," Turner said. "He took me under his wing a little bit. He has looked out for me -- on the field and off the field. ... Whatever happens, happens, but I've been very thankful I've been able to play with him."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All theTime. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
Read More: Washington Nationals, Trea Turner