Under Appreciated New York Mets: Justin Turner

Daniel Marcillo
Mar 6, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner against the Seattle Mariners during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Turner is far more under-appreciated by the New York Mets organization than the fans themselves. He never quite received the playing time needed to blossom into the star he is now, and the Mets could have certainly used him when David Wright’s injuries caught up to him.

Turner came to the Mets as a waiver claim during the 2010 season. After only playing four games with the Mets, he played in 117 games where he hit .260 with four home runs. The power had not developed for him yet, but he was 4-for-10 as a pinch hitter.

Versatile Turner

Turner could play all four infield positions and even saw a little bit of time in left field with the Mets. Over the following two seasons with the Mets, he played in less than 100 games in each season and hit .275 with four homers during that time. Turner did muster 26 doubles during that time.

When the Mets parted ways with Turner by opting to not non-tender him, it came as a surprise. During his last month with the Mets in 2013, he hit .357/.357/.571, and it included the only home runs he hit with the Mets all season. He was beginning to transform into the Justin Turner that became a star with the Dodgers.

He was learning the hitting philosophy that made Marlon Byrd a vital member of the Mets lineup, and he was moved just to open up a roster spot. The idea that Turner had a “lack of effort” was a load of crap from Sandy Alderson. It just did not make sense because the Mets roster was lackluster. It had names like Ike Davis, Eric Young Jr., and Omar Quintanilla as their starters. Safe to say Turner was a better player than all three of them at the end of 2013.

The Mets Trash is Always Another Team’s Treasure

The rest of the story is well known, Turner heads to the Dodgers and excels there. He becomes an All-Star and one of the best clutch/postseason hitters in baseball. Turner tied his career-high mark of 27 home runs in 2019, has six straight seasons of a .490 slugging percentage or better. At age 35, it does not seem like he is slowing down anytime soon.