Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon has been on quite the journey in his seven seasons as a professional. Born out of Windermere, Fla., Gordon was drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2008 amateur draft.

He was at one time ranked the Dodgers’ top prospect, which came with pressure to deliver. When Gordon got called up to the Majors in June 2011, he was pegged as the next big thing; a raw shortstop that could develop to be a talent.

Unfortunately, up until this season, things hadn’t quite panned out for Gordon. A position change would present Gordon with a new opportunity however, as he’s taken every advantage. Nearly at the halfway point of the 2014 season, Gordon has left no doubt as to whether or not he’s capable of serving as the everyday second baseman and he’s been a threat at the top of the lineup.

Gordon currently leads the Majors in stolen bases and his speed has continued to be his main asset. Manager Don Mattingly has stated one of the biggest surprises about Gordon during Spring Training was the muscle he gained. When Gordon was first called up, he had a rather scrawny frame. Gordon discussed his focus coming into this season and how he went about getting, via Jason Catania of Bleacher Report:

In the offseason, I knew I needed to get bigger. To be honest with you, it sucked trying to do it, because it was a long process. I ate. A lot. It wasn’t what not to eat—it was how much. I got to eat everything. I ate healthy food, I ate junk food, I ate everything in between. At first, I almost couldn’t take it—I wanted to quit. But I recognized that it was about finding a way to play so I could help the Dodgers.”

When the topic of Gordon winning the stolen base title came up, he remained humble in his thought process and stated what his main goal is:

Man, I just wanna score a whole bunch of runs. That’s my goal. If I have to steal bases to do it, that’s what I’m gonna do. If I win the stolen base title, that’d be awesome—and I wanna win it for years to come—but if I don’t and I still help the team win, get to the playoffs and win the World Series, that’s all the gratification I need.”

Gordon is currently third in All-Star voting and has swung the bat better as of late after a slump, all the while playing solid defense at second base. No longer needing worry over whether or not he’ll have a spot on the roster, Gordon has flourished and given the Dodgers a viable long-term option at second base.
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