With Rafael Furcal gone to St. Louis, the shortstop job in Los Angeles is exclusively the property of speedster Dee Gordon.
Gordon is a 5′ 11″, 150 pound rocket, and the son of former Major League pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon. Gordon made his MLB debut in June in Philadelphia and gained notoriety in July 1 when he had 3 stolen bases in a game against the cross-town Angels. In that game, Gordon stole third and home, thus becoming the first player in Dodger to accomplish that fete since 1928. Gordon was the first Major Leaguer to steal third and home in the same game since Jayson Werth did it on May 12, 2009.
Gordon is the # 25 prospect in the Bigs in 2011. The 23-year-old was a fourth round pick of the Dodgers in 2008.
Thus far, in 2011, in 99 AB’s, he’s hitting .232/0/5/10. Gordon has only 7 homeruns in 4 years in the minors so he won’t give you much fantasy baseball pop, but if you are looking for stolen bases, Gordon may just be the guy to help you out down the stretch.
With the PCL Albuquerque Isotopes, Gordon has hit .333 this year with zero dingers, 24 RBI, and 30 stolen bases. Gordon’s speed and stolen base numbers are legendary in the minors; Gordon swiped 53 bags in 2010 with Double-A Chattanooga and 73 bags with Great Lakes at the High-A level in 2009. His .303 lifetime average in the minors shows that he may have potential to hit for average.
If his defense can cut the muster, that would certainly help. He booted 37 balls in 2009 and had made 6 errors already in the 2011 campaign. His lack of defensive prowess is not surprising given that Gordon didn’t actually take up baseball until he was in high school. Until then, Gordon considered himself a basketball player.
Gordon certainly knows how to handle tough situations in life that should translate well to possible early struggles in the Bigs. When he was just 6-years-old, Dee’s mother Devona Strange was murdered by an ex-boyfriend. It was at this time that Flash Gordon took over as Dee’s full time guardian.
Fantasy Baseball Projection: Dee Gordon — Dee Gordon has electrifying speed and is one of the most fun ballplayers to watch because of it. He won’t give you any power at all, but you’ll want him in your fantasy baseball lineup for his stolen base totals. He has potential to be a 50 stolen base guy in the Majors. He plays within himself as a hitter with a 60.3% ground ball ratio and only 26.0% flyball rate thus far in 2011. He still needs to develop a better eye at the plate and increase his walk totals (just 5.8% in the minors and 2.0% in the majors) and decrease his strikeout numbers to be a very effective leadoff man. Gordon also needs to develop polish as a defensive shortstop; he still makes too many throwing errors. If you are seeking a late season push in stolen bases, Dee Gordon is your man.