Second baseman Dee Gordon is having the best year of his young career. The 26-year-old was selected to his first career All-Star Game.Gordon credits vetran utility player Chone Figgins for giving him advice during the season.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Gordon complimented the 36-year-old Figgins for helping improve his performance this season:
Honestly, he was like the best thing I could have had going into this season,” said Gordon, who has stayed in contact with Figgins since he returned to his Florida home last week. “He took his time with me when he didn’t have to. He pretty much sacrificed for me at the end of his career.”
After being designated for assignment, the team asked for unconditional-release waivers for Figgins on Wednesday. This season, Figgins appeared in 38 games batting .217 with 13 hits and 14 walks. He only had one RBI in 76 plate appearances.
Even if Figgins didn’t finish the year with the team, his greatest impact may be in the mentoring of Gordon. As the Los Angeles Dodgers’ leadoff hitter, Gordon is hitting .287 with two home runs and 26 RBIs. Gordon has recorded 10 triples and 18 doubles this season as well. Not to mention, he leads all of major league baseball with 54 stolen bases. The next highest is Jose Altuve of the the Houston Astros with 46.
Gordon explains how Figgins’counseling helped Gordon for the future:
Coming into the Dodgers, I didn’t know guys would still do that. My dad always told me about older guys who had helped him when he came into the league. Figgy showed me there were still guys like that. I’m going to have to do that for someone some day now.”
Figgins took Gordon under his wing during spring training. Gordon expressed his gratitude towards Figgins despite being released by Los Angeles:
I learned so much from him,” Gordon said of Figgins. “I’m thankful to the Dodgers for bringing him in for this year. Whatever narrow door I had open for me (to make the team and the starting lineup), he helped me get through it.”
The Dodgers will need Gordon to continue his pace and hope the advice from Figgins sticks in order to make a run this season.
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