Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dee Gordon: A Comet Becomes a Star

If you asked me three years ago if Dee Gordon had the potential to be an All-Star, I would've said no. He had potential to be a great leadoff man and an exceptional base stealer but on first glance, I didn't see All-Star. All I was hoping for was him to develop into a better hitter so he could be a weapon.

Safe to say the guy my former co-worker called Speedy Dee back in 2011 has exceeded that. He's an All-Star reserve, a .300 hitter and the major league leader in stolen bases and triples that has helped galvanize this Dodgers offense. And I'm happy for him.

Yasiel Puig? Expected All-Star the minute he took MLB by storm. Clayton Kershaw? You've seen his last seven games right? Zach Greinke? Unquestionably the best "No. 2" pitcher in the National League. But Dee? A diamond in the rough who finally started to shine.
There's few things better than seeing young players develop. You see them struggle, you see flashes of brilliance and then you see them start putting it together. Gordon's been up and down with the Dodgers and with his suspect arm combined with his low on-base percentage, you wondered if he'd be able to stay with the team.

But he's a different player now. He's Mr. Excitement. Every at-bat is a must-watch just like Yasiel Puig. When he puts the ball in the gap, it's almost a guarantee double and if he sprays it to side? Look out at third. He's become that weapon I hoped for and then some.

I noticed it when I was at the Dodgers-Cardinals game on June 27. I was anxious to see every bat and he proved it going 3-for-4 with the team's lone RBI. It was exciting and with him on base, the crowd expected him to steal second every single time. It threw the pitchers off and not to compare it to Jackie Robinson, but I know some get a similar thrill like him or Maury Wills or Davey Lopes.

Tip my hat to Don Mattingly and his staff moving him to second base to better utilize his arm. Tip my hat to Gordon working on his hitting and putting himself in a position to be a threat on the basepaths. It's been fun seeing him improve and I wish him well at the Midsummer Classic as well as this season.

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