The cat’s probably out of the bag at this point, but I love Minor League Baseball. I’m completely obsessed and enamored in it. I bathe in its super high risk high reward glory.
Part of my (good) work on this site is covering the Texas Rangers Double-AA Affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders. But given the opportunity, I like to pursue stories opposite the home clubhouse. That’s exactly what I did on Friday night at the ballpark.
is was the starting shortstop for the San Antonio Missions, the Double-AA Affiliate for the San Diego Padres. He’s not anymore, he got traded. But he didn’t just get traded.
He was traded in December. And also yesterday.
That’s because Trea Turner was drafted in 2014. The 13th overall pick had only recently entered the world of Major League Baseball and as a draftee, could not officially be traded until a year from the day he signed with his team. That day was June 14th, 2015. It just passed.
So despite everyone and their brother knowing that the Padres top shortstop prospect was actually a member of the Washington Nationals, he played the first 58 games of his 2015 season with the San Diego organization. Awkward, right?
Well, on top of being a super bright young player who’s having an excellent season, I wanted to ask him about all these things. It took until the second opportunity, but persistence costs nothing except maybe the undisclosed annoyance of your peers.
So let’s see what the 21-year old (for just 15 more days) had to say about this…very interesting start to his professional career.
How has your first full pro season gone so far?
Trea Turner: So far so good. I’ve learned a lot, had to make a lot of adjustments in the last two-two and a half months. I think I’ve grown up a little bit and gotten better in some different areas.
A lot of scouts had doubts about your swing coming out of NC State, is that something you pay attention to?
Turner: I mean I want to be the best player I can be. So regardless of what they’re going to say I’m always going to try and improve my defense. Try to get a little bit faster, try to improve my swing. Probably the biggest part of the game is hitting and I definitely want to be the best I can so I’m going to try and improve all of it.
Dealing with meeting the hype of being selected 13th overall and the growing expectations?
Turner: I have higher expectations than anyone else will give me. I’m kind of a perfectionist, small things bother me. If I miss a pitch early in an At Bat and maybe later in the At Bat I ground out to shortstop I’m not worried about the groundout I’m mad I missed the pitch before so I pay attention to detail. I have high expectations of myself. I read it all, some I laugh at, some I don’t really pay attention to. But I have higher expectations for myself so it’s not a big deal.
Thoughts on the new “Trea Turner Rule,” is it an honor? joke?
Turner: I mean it’s not a joke because obviously it’s a rule and it’s something to take serious. But it’s, I guess, an honor to get your name mentioned in a rule. It doesn’t benefit me too much, but it is what it is and hopefully nobody else is in this situation I’m in.
Has it been a distraction?
Turner: A little bit. I mean, I don’t think about it too much. I go out there and have fun but obviously I have to do interviews and it is what it is. It’s not necessarily a distraction, I have to deal with it and I go about my business and have fun.
About to officially become a Washington National, are things going to feel different? (this interview was two days prior to the finalization of the trade)
Turner: I don’t know, it’s kind of weird because it hasn’t happened yet. It’s weird that the day (is) coming soon within the next few days so I’m kind of coming down to the end of it. But I’m just trying to have some fun and enjoy everything while I’m here and enjoy the teammates I have now.
Turner’s season numbers with San Antonio end as such: .322/.385/.458, 5 home runs, 11 stolen bases, 98% fielding rate. He will report to the Nationals Double-AA Affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators.
Officially a member of the Washington Nationals organization after just under six months of limbo, Turner took to Twitter to greet his new team, thank his old one and send a great message.
His new Twitter avatar is also quite funny.
H/T Washington Post and also I want to write out in word form a big thank you to Trea Turner, who made time for me in a very busy portion of his schedule and life. Best of luck.