The Dodgers’ Dee Gordon made his major league debut a couple weeks ago, and with his 2-4 game yesterday he’s now hitting .326 for his young career. In the 23 year-old shortstops 10 games (in which he’s come to the plate), he has 6 multi-hit games – not quite a record to start a career, but pretty darn close (tied for second by my count, behind the 8 by Craig Wilson – the one who played three years with the White Sox, not the one who came up with the Pirates). Given that, it’s actually interesting that Gordon is hitting only .326. In every game in which he’s gotten a hit, he’s gotten at least – and usually only – two (one three-hit game). Otherwise, he’s 0-12.
Gordon is hitting .326/.341/.372 overall, which is consistent, more or less, with his minor league history (.299/.353/.383 across all levels). He’s not a guy who will walk much (just 1 so far in the majors, while walking 6-7% of the time in the minors). He’s perhaps the skinniest position player in baseball – Gordon’s listed at 5’11”, 150 lbs. – and there’s not much power to his game. Maybe he’ll knock 1-2 out in a given year, for now at least. Gordon’s greatest offensive weapon is probably his speed – allowing his father’s nick-name of Flash to be apt as well – as he bumps up his slugging percentage by stretching singles into double and doubles into triples, while doing the same on the bases. He stole 166 bases in the minors with a 75% success rate, and is already 4 for 5 for LA.
A shortstop with blazing speed who can hit a little is a nice thing to have, but it’ll be interesting to see how Gordon’s bat transitions to the majors over the course of the season. His current batting average is partially the result of a .400 batting average on balls in play, which is unlikely to continue. There’s good reason to think it’ll be above average though, given that he can fly and apparently drop down a bunt (he has two bunt hits in three chances already). We’ll see at what level he can keep rolling while Rafael Furcal is on the DL.
Also last night: Mike Pelfrey went the distance in beating Dan Haren and the Angels; the Brewers homered three times in knocking off Boston; Scott Baker outduled Tim Stauffer as Danny Valencia’s solo shot provided the games only run; and much more.
What to watch tonight: The Nationals go for their 9th win in a row, which would get them back to .500; Bay area righties whose ERAs both tend to beat their peripherals – Matt Cain and Trevor Cahill – square off in Oakland; and Fransisco Liriano and Justin Verlander, who both flirted with no-hitters in their last appearances, take the mound for their respective teams (though sadly not against on another). Full schedule with probable pitchers here.