Dee Gordon was safe.
I typed "Dee Gordon" into my iPhone and it was autocorrected to "See Gordon," and that sounds about right.
Gordon has quickly become a must-watch at-bat because of his blinding speed. On several occasions this spring Gordon has beaten out relatively routine infield ground balls for base hits.
On the first day of camp, manager Don Mattingly had only two spots set in stone in his regular season batting order: Matt Kemp hitting third, and Dee Gordon leadoff.
"He doesn't scare us in any way," Mattingly said. "We expect him to make some mistakes, we expect him to not be the perfect guy right now. We expect him to keep getting better and let that ability shine."
Coaches and players alike praise Gordon's work ethic, as he is constantly asking questions and trying to get better. He worked on his defense in the offseason with Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, and even went to Texas to work with Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman.
"That's kind of what we love about Dee, that he's always trying to get better and keep working," Mattingly said.
Gordon has stolen 11 bases and been caught four times, and even stole a base without a pitch being thrown, catching the Kansas City middle infielders napping.
"When things out of the ordinary happen on the field, it shocks them. Not just pitchers, but players," Mattingly said. "When guys do things you're not supposed to do, it catches everybody off guard."
Gordon improved last year in his second stint with the club, and he has thrived this spring, hitting .381/.451/.492 with seven walks and seven strikeouts in 71 plate appearances.
"I've been trying to tell you guys for about a year now that this guy can hit," Mattingly said of Gordon. "He's getting a good feel of when to take, when not to take, and when to be aggressive. He's going to keep getting better."
Just be sure not to miss a Gordon at-bat. You never know what you are going to see.
Gordon stole 24 bases in just 56 games last season, the fourth most by a Dodger in his first season. The only Dodgers with more stolen bases in their first season are Mariano Duncan (38, 1985), Harry Lumley (30, 1904), and Jackie Robinson (29, 1947).
There have only been 21 seasons by a Los Angeles Dodger scoring 100 runs. Three have been by a shortstop: Maury WIlls (1961 & 1962) and Rafael Furcal.
Gordon will earn $485,000 in 2012. He has 89 days of service time and won't be eligible for salary arbitration for three more years.
Previous Player Profiles
|2010 - Double A
|2011 - Triple A
|2011 - MLB
|2012 Projections - Age 24 Season|
The Dodgers are basically built for Gordon to play nearly every single day. I think he does just that, and hits .309/.338/.364 with 67 stolen bases.
What is your guess for Gordon in 2012? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG, stolen bases, and anything else you wish to guess.