On today's Starting 9, we sit down with Dodgers All Star 3rd baseman Justin Turner to talk about how he got so good at playing baseball. It's a crazy evolution in his career that started with Jake in Baltimore before settling in with the Mets for 3 full seasons. He averaged 300 plate appearances a year with the Mets but didn't become an everyday player until he signed a 3-year, $9M deal with the Dodgers for 2014-2016. That's when he met Zack Greinke and everything changed...
Just a preposterous development. He gets into more of the details and circumstances of how he changed his swing thoughts to adapt to standing on the plate. But it all comes back to Zack Greinke looking at the data and giving Justin Turner a career epiphany at 29 years old. And from there he absolutely exploded.
Heading into the 2014 season he had a career 92 OPS+ in 926 plate appearances. Then in his first year as a Dodger, he went off for a 155 OPS+ and a .340 average in 109 games. Two years later he finished top-10 in MVP voting then followed it up in 2017 with another top-10 finish while walking 59 times against just 56 strikeouts in 543 appearances. Just a staggering evolution that Justin explains in layman's terms in a way that will make you desperately want to get some career advice from Greinke as well.
Awesome conversation. Great episode this week. Subscribe to the show so we can keep talking to guys like Justin Turner.