Recently during the prospect chat, and prospect vote one of our younger members chided the group for having the audacity to go against the grain and not vote Dee Gordon as one of our top four prospects. The argument was well thought out and went along the lines of "everyone else has Dee Gordon as the Dodgers number one prospect". Baseball America was cited as being the beacon of all prospectdom.
Eventually all of these other sites may end up correct in their assessment of Dee Gordon compared to his peers. However TBLA is an independent group and what would be the point of having our vote if we felt that BA was the last statement on who is the best prospect. We would simply post their list and go on with the winter.
If anyone has read anything I've had to say about Dee Gordon they will know I simply don't believe in him. That means nothing, what does mean something is the information on why I don't believe. I'm no scout and I've never seen Dee Gordon play so at this point any points I make are either historical or based purely on his production.
There is no question that Dee Gordon is an athletic marvel, but baseball is full of athletic marvels who never amounted to a hill of beans on a major league baseball field. Deion Sanders might have been the best athlete to take to a major league field, but was Deion Sanders a good baseball player? Actually Dion was alot better then I remembered so ................ let us move on to the pros and cons of Dee Gordon, Dodger Prospect:
Pro: One of the fastest players in professional baseball, he has stolen 144 bases in only 324 professional games
Con: For all that speed he has been caught 50 times and that rate will not help a team but will hurt it.
Pro: He has double digit triples the last two professional seasons
Con: He has hit only 7 home runs and 47 doubles in those 324 professional games. For a guy with his speed, 47 doubles seems awful light. The idea he is a gap hitter is not supported.
Pro: Scouts say he can become a plus defensive SS
Con:He has made 24 : 34 : 37 errors the last three years. So basically he gives away an out every 3rd game.
Pro: He's raw due to the fact he didn't play much baseball in high school, and will only get better
Con: He's going to be 23 and has now played 324 professional games. How long can "raw" be applied? He has to get better in the aspects of the game he can control which is his base stealing, plate discipline, and defense before anyone expects him to be worthy of a number one prospect.
Pro: He has the bloodlines and the nickname ready to go. For some reason his Dad was nicknamed Flash, but with the speed Dee has, that has to be his nickname.
Con:Dodgers have had little luck with the bloodlines of previous major league stars.
Pro: Speed cannot be taught
Con: Dodgers have had little luck over the last 25 years with any prospect who had speed as his top skill
Pro:Most scouts love his game
Con:Some scouts recognize that a man with his frame will have a very hard time playing a full season of major league baseball without breaking down. Maybe he can be the speedier version of David Eckstein, if so that would be awesome.
Pro: For two years in a row his walk rate has improved month to month. If he can get to the point where he is walking 8% of the time, he will get to use his speed as a weapon.
Con:For two years in a row he has started the season forgetting how he ended the previous season.
Pro:He is destroying the Puerto Rican Winter League.
Con: Good for him, first time in years a Dodger prospect has played in a winter league and done squat.
I do not have anything personal against Dee Gordon, I hope he can be our answer at SS, steal 70 bases, ignite the offense, be our Dion Sanders. My favorite play is the triple, I'd love to see a dozen of them a year coming from Dee Gordon. I'd love for him to be the first Los Angeles Dodgers speedy prospect to make an impact since Steve Sax.
Just don't tell me I'm an idiot because I don't believe, my past is littered with believing and being disappointed. Until a pure speed prospect actually makes it, I will remain an unbeliever, but that does not mean you have to.