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In fantasy baseball, rookies tend to get a lot of hype and get drafted too high. Veterans that don't start to produce until late in their career tend to get undervalued as people want to seem them prove it more than once. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner is a perfect example.
Turner was a part-time player with the Mets and didn't get a chance to play every day until he went to the Dodgers. It's time to stop doubting the 32-year-old. He has improved over the last few seasons and is someone that will be a bargain in drafts since he's someone who hasn't blossomed until his 30s.
I recently drafted him in the tenth round of a 15-team draft. Turner, who signed a four-year, $64 million deal in the off-season, will hit third in a good Dodgers lineup. Turner batted .275 with 79 runs, 27 home runs, 90 RBIs, four stolen bases and an .832 OPS.
We got a glimpse of Turner's ability in 2014 when he played 109 games and had 288 at-bats with the Dodgers. He batted .340 with 46 runs, seven home runs, 43 RBIs and an .897 OPS. The next season he played in 126 games and had 385 at-bats, batting .294 with 55 runs, 16 home runs, 60 RBIs and an .861 OPS.
Even when he was a part-time player with the Mets, Turner hit a lot of line drives. He has a career 24.1 percent career line drive rate, and over the last three years, it has been 23.3 percent, 27.7 percent, and 23.9 percent. The power has increased over the last three seasons as the fly ball percentage has gone from 28 percent to 36.2 percent to 40 percent last year. Turner had a career-best hard hit rate of 37.6 percent last season.
Last season was even more impressive considering Turner was coming off microfracture knee surgery. Turner was able to finish with good numbers despite an awful start. Turner was batting .234 with 19 runs, three home runs, and 16 RBIs through 166 at-bats going into June.
One thing that stands out for Turner is the reverse splits. Turner batted .209 with five home runs in 172 at-bats against left-handers and .305 with 22 home runs against right-handers in 384 at-bats. For his career, Turner is hitting .248 against lefties compared to .298 against righties.
Turner will be undervalued in drafts, and if you miss out on the elite third basemen, Turner is someone to target in a deeper mixed league, and he is an excellent corner infielder in shallow mixed leagues. The fantasypros.com rankings currently list him as the 14th ranked third basemen.