Los Angeles Dodgers Dee Gordon – What Happened?
What happened to Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Dee Gordon? A once highly-touted prospect who was a Futures All-Star game selection, has yet to complete a full season in the majors since first being called-up in the 2011 season. Since 2011, he has bounced up and down between the Dodgers and the Albuquerque Isotopes, their triple-A affiliate. One has to wonder if Gordon will ever find his footing in the majors.
Gordon was drafted by the Dodgers in the 4th round (127th overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Seminole Community College in Florida. The son of former major league relief pitcher, Tom Gordon, Dee has been around the game of baseball all his life, only adding to the mystery of his struggles.
Despite all of Gordon’s struggles in the majors, he has shown much improvement this season in the minors. Currently with the Isotopes, Gordon is batting with a triple slash of .309/.399/.411, with 56 R’s, 16 2B’s, 8 3B’s, 0 HR’s, 27 RBI’s, and 43 SB’s. That .399 OBP is the best of his career in both the majors and minors, and his 57:46 K:BB ratio is also on target for a career best. This numbers look mighty impressive when compared to his brief stint in the major this season, where in 19 games Gordon went triple slash .175/.278/.254, and not much else (ok, with 6 R’s, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI’s, 5 SB’s).
I couldn’t believe Gordon had fallen that far out-of-favor with the Dodgers and as a prospect, so I had to see him for myself as the Isotopes were in Sacramento to take the Sacramento River Cats, triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s.
First At-Bat: Gordon shows off his lighting speed by drag bunting the second pitch of the game down the 1st base line for an infield hit.
Second At-Bat: Gordon again shows little patience at the plate, swinging at the second pitch of the at-bat, a 5-3 put out.
Third At-Bat: Gordon worked the count deep this time, laying off pitches out of the zone. He ended up taking a walk on four pretty easy takes.
Fourth At-Bat: He attempts a second drag bunt on the second pitch of the at-bat, seeing if again he can pull it off for a hit, but Gordon bunts it foul. He again works a deep count, taking and fighting off a good number of pitches, but doing so by just slapping at the ball, not really taking full swings. He ends a 10 pitch at-bat with a swinging strike out.
Overall: Gordon didn’t look impressive to me and I’m wondering if all of the call-ups and send downs are starting to get to him. I would have liked to have seen him take better at-bats and better cuts at the ball. He has a small, compact swing, keeping his hands close to his chest, making for a quick approach to the ball. There is no doubt that he has lightening quick speed, and can put a lot of pressure on infielders to make plays on balls hit on the ground. If on base, he is a nightmare for pitchers and catchers. But that seems to be the struggle for Gordon, getting on base. Gordon defense was also shaky tonight, having committed a throwing error in the first inning which lead to the River Cats scoring their first run. In the 4th inning, he ranged to his left for a grounder up the middle, going down to a slide to field the ball and ended up booted in into short right-center. No error was given on the play, but if he would have drives glove first, he may have been able to field the ball cleanly and throw the batter out at first. A tough play no doubt, but he could have fielded the ball better. He did have one redeeming play in the bottom of the 8th inning when he made a nice play on a ball hit to the third/short gap. Gordon chased it down in the gap and made a crisp throw to first to get the batter out. But overall, his performance tonight was under-whelming.
I wonder if Gordon will ever live up the potential Dodgers fans once had for him. There is no doubt that Gordon can make a living for himself in the major on his speed only, but as they say, you can’t steal first.