For those of you that have been sleeping under a rock this off-season, Trea Turner signed a 13-year, $300 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on December 5th, 2022.
BREAKING: Shortstop Trea Turner and the Philadelphia Phillies are in agreement on a contract, a source tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 5, 2022
It has been a month since the blockbuster deal was signed. The dust has settled, and the Phillies have added more pieces to their roster. But Trea Turner remains as the most important piece the Phillies have added this off-season. Today, we will look at Trea Turner’s impact on the Phillies in the coming season.
Trea Turner’s Impact On Offense
Offensively, Trea Turner can do it all. Of the three offensive tools (speed, hitting for average, hitting for power), Turner is either above average or excels at all of them. He will enter the 2023 season with a career line of .302/.355/.487. Turner has led baseball in hits twice and batting average once. Throughout his career, he carries a BABIP of .344, meaning that he puts the ball in play more than 34% of the time he comes to the plate. The old adage, “put it in play and good things will happen,” is not lost on Turner. The Phillies as a team only carried a BABIP of .299 throughout 2022, so having Turner make the opposing defense make plays will be huge for their rallies.
When it comes to power, Trea Turner has a surprising amount of pop. He enters this season with 124 career home runs and a 162-game average of 24 home runs. In 2022, Turner hit 21 home runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers. When looking at his spray chart, had he already been a member of the Phillies, that number would have been closer to the 46 that Kyle Schwarber hit!
Citizens Bank Park has been a hitter’s haven since opening in 2004. The Phillies did have two players with at least 30 home runs in 2022 in Rhys Hoskins and Schwarber. J.T. Realmuto had 22 home runs in 2022. Trea Turner will drastically increase his power output now that he will be playing half of his games at Citizens Bank Park. With his hitter profile, he should add yet another tally to the number of Phillies hitters with 30 or more home runs.
It’s no secret that Trea Turner is one of the fastest men in baseball. Per baseball savant, he has ranked in the top 10 in the league every season since debuting in 2015. His average sprint speed has never dipped below 30 feet per second, and he has accrued 230 stolen bases so far in his career. In 2022, Turner racked up 27 stolen bases and was only caught three times! Trea Turner’s impact on the Phillies will be very evident on the base paths. As a team, the Phillies totaled 105 stolen bases in 2022, with Realmuto accounting for 21 of those. Adding an extra 25-30 stolen bases will go a long way in improving the Phillies’ already potent offensive production.
Trea Turner’s Impact On Defense
Trea Turner comes to the Phillies to play the vastly important position of shortstop. Bryson Stott manned that spot on the field for the majority of 2022, his rookie season, but will now be moving over to second base to accommodate the Phillies’ next $300 million man. Second base was a position held down by the now Miami Marlin, Jean Segura. Does rearranging the defense in this way improve the Phillies’ middle-infield? Let’s take a closer look at the stats and find out.
The Phillies had multiple players play shortstop in 2022. Bryson Stott had the most defensive attempts with 346, followed by Didi Gregorius with 218, and finally Edmundo Sosa with 48. Didi had the strongest arm of the bunch, with an average throw speed of 88.9 MPH, which also ranked fourth among all shortstops in baseball for 2022. Stott was second on the radar gun at 85.1 MPH, ranking 17th among shortstops, and Sosa brought up the rear at 84 MPH ranking 25th. For the Dodgers, Turner had 563 attempts and averaged 83.7 MPH on his throws, ranking 27th. This will be a drop in arm strength, but how did these fielders manage in Outs Above Average?
This is where Turner’s speed will come into play. In 2022, the Phillies’ shortstops combined for a total of -2 Outs Above Average. The majority of that came from Didi seemingly forgetting how to play baseball and holding -5 OAA, but it still hurt the Phillies. Turner, on the other hand, had exactly zero OAA. While not blowing the league out of the water, this would be a slight improvement for the Phillies and could save a couple of runs from being scored, which would lead to a higher tally in the “W” column.
The real improvement will come with Stott moving to second base. While Jean Segura is no slouch at second base, Bryson Stott being younger and more athletic will pay dividends defensively. While Segura did have the stronger arm at second with an 86.5 average throw speed from second to Stott’s 86.1, Stott projects to have the better range of the two. Segura had 388 defensive attempts at second base in 2022 and garnered a respectable three OAA. Bryson Stott had less than half the amount of attempts that Segura had, 141, and he also managed three OAA. Assuming Stott played the same level of defense and accrued the same number of attempts that Segura had, Stott’s OAA would more than double! Moving Stott to second is a drastic improvement defensively for the Phillies and will play a huge part in making themselves better than they were last season.
On paper, the Philadelphia Phillies look to be even better than they were last year. Last year, they lost in the World Series to the Houston Astros. Could we get a World Series rematch this season? It is definitely possible. And Trea Turner’s impact on the Phillies will go a long way toward giving us yet another World Series for the ages.
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Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Bryson Stott, Jean Segura, Didi Gregorius, Edmundo Sosa