04/26/2013 6:39 PM ET
Turner not walking, but finding way to get on base
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Justin Turner knows he's hitting well, but he doesn't know every column of his statistics. Turner, a reserve infielder for the Mets, was amused and surprised to find out Friday that his batting average (.323) is higher than his on-base percentage (.313), a truly rare phenomenon.
Turner hasn't walked yet this season, and he's had one sacrifice fly that accounts for the rare disparity between his average and his OBP. The 28-year-old said he feels comfortable at the plate, and he said he hasn't walked largely because he's been getting pitches to hit.
"I think there's two ways you walk," he said. "You foul off pitches you should hit or the guy is nowhere near the zone. Sometimes, guys like Barry Bonds walk because pitchers are trying to be too fine with them because if they make a mistake, the guy can hit it out of the park. I'm not a guy who hits a lot of balls out of the park, so I feel like pitchers are a little more aggressive in the zone with me."
Turner hasn't been the type of player to walk a lot, but he's drawn 53 walks in 244 games at the big league level. The reserve infielder has struck out 94 times, but he said that he's noticed that the difference between good hitters and great hitters is how they react when ahead in the count.
"They're able to shrink their zone down," he said. "We talk all the time about when you're in a hitter's count and how you should shrink the zone to a hittable area. But sometimes you get in those counts and you get a little more excited, so it happens the other way: Your zone expands a little bit."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.