The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup is littered with stars, headlined by Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig, followed by the likes of Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier. At one time, or another, these guys have carried the load for their team at the big league level. The Dodgers also have Dee Gordon, the son of former MLB pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon, who presents a skill-set that separates him from the stars he follows. The Dodgers lone question mark headed into this season was who would be the starting second baseman?
That question is no longer relevant. Gordon is the starting second baseman and it appears he’s not giving it up anytime soon. Granted, we’re only 13 games into the 2014 season but Gordon has become a prized asset in this lineup of high-profile names. Gonzalez hit a home run on Sunday for the fourth consecutive game, while Gordon became the sixth Dodger in franchise history to swipe four bases in a single game. (Last Dodger with four stolen bases in a single game was Rafael Furcal; 2007). Gordon was wreaking havoc on the base paths, at one point stealing second, and then he stole third a couple of pitches later without a throw.
His speed has never been put into question, though. The struggle of hitting major league pitching has held him back from utilizing his legs. Nonetheless, through the first two weeks of the new season, Gordon is looking like a legit big league hitter. He’s keeping the ball out of the air, working counts, drawing walks (4) and spraying the ball all over the diamond (16 hits). His .400/.457/.525 split is impressive from what we’ve ever previously seen from him, and goes along with his MLB leading nine stolen bases. Manager Don Mattingly has plugged Gordon into the eighth or leadoff spot in his lineup and looks like a genius thus far.
The 2014 Dodgers lineup would also make for a superb package of Topps baseball cards. However while Gordon would likely be the least valued out of that package, that hasn’t been the case on the diamond these days. The Dodgers need Gordon in the lineup, day in and day out. This could be an overreaction to his hot start, or not, but either way Gordon’s talent will be a key to the Dodgers success this season.