Dee Gordon has been a pleasant surprise for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season as the once under performing, powerless shortstop has blossomed into a force to be reckoned with. The second baseman has impressively matured over the past year, and the evidence is in the numbers.
Gordon’s .353 batting average is the league’s third best, and the speedster’s 19 stolen bases leads the majors. As a player who was considered to simply be battling for a roster spot headed into the season, Gordon has more than surpassed expectations. The 26-year-old has essentially secured his spot as the team’s starting second baseman with Justin Turner making just one start this month so far.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the newly successful Gordon remembers a time when the pressure and nerves used to get the best of him:
“I didn’t want to make mistakes. I trusted my ability, but honestly, I just didn’t want to make a mistake,” Gordon said. “There wasn’t any room for growing pains, especially with new ownership. I felt I had to come in and play at the highest level.”
Amidst the success, Gordon has managed to stay humble and grateful through it all. The second baseman never expected an easy path because of his father’s impressive MLB career, and he’s the kind of player who is appreciative for every at-bat and every opportunity. In fact, he sees the switch from shortstop to second as a way to help Hanley Ramirez the best way he knows how.
Gordon, who did not start playing baseball until his junior year of high school, now assumes the role as the leadoff man and is arguably one of the best hitters on the team. He looks to use his new-found maturity to guide his half-brother, Nicholas Gordon, who is projected to be selected in the top-10 this upcoming draft.
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