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Justin Turner

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Note: This page links to major league infielder Justin Turner. For the minor league infielder and coach, click here.

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Justin Matthew Turner

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[edit] Biographical Information

Infielder Justin Turner was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 7th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Mike Misuraca and made his pro debut that summer.

Turner was one of three players, along with Ryan Freel and Brandon Waring, sent to the Baltimore Orioles by the Reds in return for catcher Ramon Hernandez on December 9, 2008. He made his major league debut with Baltimore towards the end of the 2009 season, going 3 for 18 over 12 games.

Turner made the New York Mets' opening day roster in 2011 and injuries soon gave him a chance to play regularly at second base and third base. He made the most of this opportunity in May, putting up a batting line of .325/.378/.458 with 9 doubles and 20 RBI to earn the National League's Rookie of the Month honors. He was the first member of the Mets to win the award since its creation in 2001. During the month, he recorded at least one RBI in 13 of 15 consecutive games while hitting his first career home run at Houston on May 15th. He played 117 games for the Mets that year, hitting .260 with 30 doubles and 4 homers, scoring 49 runs and driving in 51; he played 78 games at second base and 38 at third base. In 2012, his playing time diminished as he became a true utility infielder, playing between 10 and 15 games at all four infield positions, in addition to pinch-hitting duties. He went to bat 171 times in 94 games, hitting .269 with 13 doubles. He was again a back-up player in 2013, this time getting into 86 games almost equally spread out among the four infield positions. He continued to hit fairly well, checking in at .280 in 200 at-bats. In spite of his relatively good batting averages over his three seasons as full-time major leaguer, his OPS+ peaked at 100, the third year, because of his lack of home run power and small number of walks. Still, his ability to play multiple positions made him a valuable asset on the bench.

Justin became a free agent after the 2013 season and signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2014, coupled with a invitation to spring training. He surprised observers by emerging from a contest to succeed Mark Ellis at second base job with the starting nod for the Dodgers' opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia on March 22nd. With the D-Backs starting lefty Wade Miley, he beat out other candidates such as Justin Sellers, Dee Gordon, Chone Figgins, Brendan Harris and Cuban signee Alex Guerrero as manager Don Mattingly opted to go for a platoon to start the season.

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