Team USA, simply put, is on a roll. With the likes of Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Paul Goldschmidt leading the way, opposing nations would certainly have a difficult time dealing with their stacked lineup. This was certainly the case after Team USA routed Cuba, 14-2, to advance to the finals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic. However, even with Trout, Betts, and Paul Goldschmidt having won MVP awards in their respective careers, it was new Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner who led the way in what was such a dominant effort.
Turner, in particular, flexed his underrated power game for the entire world to see. The 29-year old infielder, despite batting ninth in the Team USA order, hit two massive home runs against Cuba to give him a total of four home runs to lead all batters participating in the competition. In fact, Turner tattooed the ball so hard, he apparently destroyed his batting gloves in the process.
Nonetheless, as well as he has played in the most unheralded role in the batting order, Trea Turner remains even-keeled so that he could make the most out of his opportunities at the plate — which, to his credit, he has done with flying colors thus far in the WBC.
“I don't do a lot of emotion. Just because you hit a homer one at-bat doesn't mean you're going to do anything the next time. So compartmentalize, and when the day's over, you kind of take a step back, see what happened and then move on from there,” Turner said, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
As the old adage goes, “if ain't broke, don't fix it.” Whatever Trea Turner's mental approach at the dish is at the WBC, it's working. Even Team USA manager Mark DeRosa doesn't want to change anything, especially with the Phillies shortstop on a roll despite his inauspicious position in their batting order.
Turner is not only leading the entire tournament in home runs, he has also set a Team USA record for most home runs in a single WBC. He also currently leads the tournament in runs batted in with 10. And it sure doesn't look like Turner would stop raking anytime soon, with his team only one win away from winning the entire competition.