6 things to know about Red Sox infielder Justin Turner
Turner once played in the Cape Cod Baseball League and made his MLB debut at Fenway Park before becoming a two-time All-Star.
Following the departure of shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox have added a former NLCS MVP to their infield.
Justin Turner agreed to a two-year, $22 million deal with Boston on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The Long Beach, Calif. native became a fan-favorite with the Dodgers during nine seasons in Los Angeles. He made two All-Star appearances and is the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award winner, given to a player both for his on-field performance as well as his charitable work in the community.
At 38 years old, he’s the oldest player on the Red Sox roster. He made his first MLB appearance in 2009 at Fenway Park during a pinch-hit at-bat with the Baltimore Orioles.
So, how will Turner fit in at Fenway 14 years later? Here are six things to know about him.
He won a World Series with Kenley Jansen and Kiké Hernández.
While he has spent the vast majority of his career in the National League, Turner should have plenty of familiarity with the Red Sox roster.
Turner was on the Dodgers’ 2020 World Series-winning team, and he famously got pulled during the eighth inning of Game 6 for testing positive for COVID-19. He still showed up for the postgame celebratory photos and ended up apologizing afterwards.
Turner played with several current Red Sox in LA, including Kiké Hernández and new closer Kenley Jensen, both of whom were on the 2020 team. Alex Verdugo also played with Turner during his time with the Dodgers.
He’ll likely DH for the Red Sox, but he can also play the field.
Turner primarily plays third base, but the Red Sox have Rafael Devers at that position. Turner will likely see more reps at designated hitter or first base with the Red Sox instead.
A career .289 hitter, Turner has been a steady bat in terms of hitting for average. His power has fluctuated in recent years. He hit a career-high 27 home runs in both 2019 and 2021. He had 27 home runs combined in 2022 and 2018.
While his home run production was down last year, Turner hit a career-high 36 doubles and drove in 81 runs.
His wedding was officiated by a Cy Young Award winner.
Nervous isn’t the word you’d typically associate with Orel Hershiser.
But, the 1988 World Series MVP and Cy Young award winner “might’ve had butterflies” when he officiated Turner’s wedding in 2018, according to the LA Times.
“I actually teared up,” Hershiser said. “To know Justin’s background – growing up in Southern California, with the Dodgers a huge part of his life – for him to think that highly of me in the past and then in the present, that made it a huge honor.”
He got beaned during the 2003 College World Series.
Nearly two decades ago, Turner was starring in the College World Series for Cal State Fullerton.
He was 3-for-3 with a home run during one of the games when he was hit in the face by a fastball. Luckily, he avoided major injuries. After being taken to a local hospital, X-Rays revealed contusions on his face but no fractures, according to an Associated Press report.
Turner was named to the all-tournament team and led Fullerton to the College World Series national title the following year.
He once played in the Cape Cod League.
After winning the College World Series in 2004, Turner spent a summer playing for the Dennis-Yarmouth Red Sox in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
A post on the Cape League’s website described Turner as a hard worker and a great teammate who led the team in at-bats  and finished second on the team in hits  and runs batted in  in 2005.
He was drafted by the Yankees, but didn’t sign.
The New York Yankees drafted Turner in the 29th round of the 2005 MLB Draft, but he decided to play his senior year at Fullerton instead.
The following year he was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round.
After a couple seasons in the minor leagues, Turner was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, where he subsequently made his MLB debut.
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