In most players’ first season with a new team, they usually have a lot of trouble acclimating to their new team and therefore do not produce to their full potential.
But not Dee Gordon.
In 2015, Gordon jumped on to the scene and refused to continue his trend of going under the radar.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was an All-Star in 2014, but didn’t look as if he’d be a true impact player in the major leagues. His .289 batting average and 64 stolen bases in 2014 seemed to represent the player he’d be his entire career.
Gordon knew he would always be a contact hitter, so he fully embraced it when he went to the Miami Marlins. And not only did he embrace it in his first season, but he greatly improved his contact hitting.
Last season, Gordon hit for a .333 batting average, good for second in MLB. He led the majors with 205 hits and 58 stolen bases.
I think you get the point. He turned himself not just into a good leadoff hitter, but the premier leadoff hitter.
In the offseason, the Fish inked him to a five-year, $50 million contract.
The Marlins have a much-improved roster for 2016 after signing Wei-Yin Chen, Edwin Jackson, and Chris Johnson. The team has very high hopes after gutting the coaching staff by bringing in Don Mattingly to manage and Barry Bonds as the hitting coach.
Judging by just the numbers, his batting average has consistently gone up throughout his career. Now does that mean he will hit better than .333? No, more than likely he won’t. But he’ll hover around that mark throughout the season. He probably won’t ever hit more than 10 home runs in a season just because of the type of player he is.
That is unless Bonds slips him a few steroids (another debate for another day).
Judging by more than the numbers, Gordon has two great hitters for coaches in Donny Baseball and the Home Run King himself. With those two influences on him, it’s almost a definite that he won’t take any steps back in his incredible progress.
Bonds will help him refine his swing to hit to all fields and hit all pitches while Mattingly will insert him into the top of the lineup.
It’s hard to predict the future, but it’s almost certain that Gordan’s progress to the top of the league won’t be slowed.
And along the way, he may help the Marlins win too. At least, that would be the goal.