Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Case Against Dee Gordon

For the record, I used to be a BIG Dee Gordon fan.  He’s a good kid, respectful and well-liked by both subordinates, coaches and his elders. While I still like the kid, I no longer think he will be an impact player in the Major Leagues.  I am not a hater of Dee Gordon, just no longer a registered card-carrying believer!  AND, I hope I am wrong.  His career success rate at stealing bases in the minor leagues is 77% and his career minor league fielding percentage is .936.  Co-incidentally, his major league stolen base percentage is also 77% – not great for a slight built guy with his speed.  Matt Kemp’s stolen base percentage is 74%.

I made this little chart for your reading pleasure.  I have compared two players who had different skills but who posted some decent numbers from rookie ball up through A, AA and AAA (at Albquerque, so I discount AAA somewhat).  Hitting in the minors often tells you nothing about a players ability once the league catches up to his holes.

PlayerA-VS-PLayerB-1

Player A is Flash Gordon’s son, D-Flash.  I’ll tell you who Player B is in a minute.  As I mentioned, I put little stock into his age 23 stats because it was mostly at AAA Albuquacky.  It could be argued that Player B showed greater promise by putting up better numbers in the Southern League, which is a huge pitchers’ league.  Also, Player B did not have the luxury of speed to burn, which we all know gets D-Flash some extra hits.  OK, I’ll go ahead and tell you who Player B was:  Delywn Young.  How did that work out?

I’m sorry, but I just don’t see a difference maker in Dee and changing positions to 2B, I think would be out of the question unless he was a can’t miss hitting prospect.  I have thrown in my mental towel on Dee Gordon.  If he fulfills his promise, then I shall be impressed.  If not, I’ve already moved on.

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About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

35 Responses to “The Case Against Dee Gordon”

  1. Badger says:

    Yeah, I think it’s been clear for a while what you think of Dee Gordon.

    But again, the kid doesn’t have much ML experience. I am not going to change my mind about him because of highly selective chart you put together.

    I believe. FREE DEE!!

  2. HemmorhoidRage says:

    “All we are saaaaayyyy-ing, is give Dee a chance” (Sorry all John Lennon fans).

    I think we have all concluded, time will tell. There are pros and cons regarding Gordon, the proof is in the pudding (mmmmm, pudding I need to make some of that dessert tonight).

    Does Dee make the team out of ST? Does Dee move to 2B? Does Dee move to the OF? Does Dee get some time at SS if Hanley fails? Well I can positive, absolutely give you an answer to all those questions, We’ll see.

    In the meantime, I am going to root like hell for him and also root like hell for Cruz. I like both of those guys’ attitudes and they both would be good for the clubhouse. Neither one deserves to be given up on at this point in the year, that’s for sure.

  3. Bobby says:

    StL just lost Furcal for the year with Tommy John surgery

    They are likely in the market for a SS.

  4. Gonzo says:

    Dee Gordon for Jemile Weeks. Solves two problems, leadoff and 2B. There easy done. I too think that Dee is a genuinely good person, but that doesn’t translate to success at the MLB level. If he were 22 and at AA I’d buy in but the dude is almost 26 and the skills he needs to have at the top are just not developing fast enough for me.

    I’m with Mark on Dee. I wish him success but at the moment he is blocked so might as well get something for him.

  5. Gonzo says:

    Sorry meant to type 25.

  6. DRomo says:

    I think Mark is right here. Dee is a one trick pony. He is very very fast. He is an average (at best) defender and is getting worse I fear. Although by all accounts he is a nice kid he is resistant to working at bunting. And this is a kid with Maury Wills at his disposal every day in Camelback!! If there is a market for him I would move him.

    On a different topic: looking for a backup 1B.? Not happy with Uribe? I am watching the WBC Mexico vs Italy. Jorge Cantu is out of a job and he looks pretty good. It’s just an idea but he might be a nice veteran bat off the bench as well as a backup 1B/3B. Again…. Just an idea.

  7. Badger says:

    Says right over there ——————–> that the Cards won’t be looking at SS for now, but I don’t believe that. They’ll be looking.

    Weeks? Interesting idea. When he was Gordon’s age, he had similar numbers without the stolen bases. I would like to believe Gordon will be as good, or better, when he is 26. What do I know. I thought Hee Seop Choi was going to light it up.

    How about Gordon and a bag of chips for Matt Carpenter or Daniel Delasco – whichever one doesn’t win the starting second base job for the Cards.

  8. Quasimodo says:

    Many have said Dodgers are weak at 2nd base. I don’t feel that way. And theres every reason Gordon would get zilch time playing 2nd if he were to make starting roster, even if M. Ellis got hurt that would put Dee 3rd in line. I surely hope Dodgers can avoid the DL. So thusly I hope Gordon does not make this years roster. I haven’t given up on Dee, he’s one of the most exciting players to watch and when looking I see things beyond stats. Its going to click for him. Its just hasn’t yet.

  9. Watford Dodger says:

    Thought you had packed it in Mark?

  10. Michael says:

    Mark works in strange ways.
    A couple of years ago when Andre was his whipping boy he transformed him into a GWRBI king and ever since he has been rag ing on Dee this week all DFlash has been doing is balling.
    Keep up the good job.

  11. HemmorhoidRage says:

    Quas, you are right about Mark Ellis, before he got hurt I believe he was actually tearing it up at the plate. Maybe my memory is wrong but I’m too lazy to actually go look at the stats, maybe someone could take a look at his “before injury” stats and tell us. He also seems to have a pretty good glove, don’t recall his range.

  12. HemmorhoidRage says:

    Article today on Dee some may find interesting. Seems like he thinks he can’t afford to take to many pitches to be successful, however so far this spring he leads the team with 6 walks.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/dodger-report/post/_/id/3943/dee-gordon-tries-to-reignite-his-career

    enjoy

  13. Badger says:

    “But when Gordon became conscious of walking more, he wound up taking too many strikes and swinging at too many balls.”

    Well duh. You obviously HAVE NOT become conscious of walking more. If you were, you wouldn’t be swinging at balls.

    Listen kid, the first rule of hitting – get a good pitch to hit. When you REALLY become conscious of walking more that whole “swinging at too many balls” will be a thing of the past. Just lay off ‘em. Easy squeezy. Learn your strike zone (which by now you should had oughta know) and don’t swing at pitches out of the strike zone.

    There. Free advice on how to reach first base. Now, go be a Major Leaguer.

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/weeksje01.shtml

    Dee Gordon outhit Jemile weeks last year. Why would the Dodgers even consider that deal? And Weeks is a bit older, and probably has a longer term baseball background that the Gordon, who concentrated on basketball until his senior year of high school, when he probably began to realize that he was too small to have an NBA future.

    Becoming conscious of walking more could definitely lead to taking too many pitches in the strike zone, thereby getting behind in the count, and ending up swinging at pitches out of the zone. What Gordon needs to learn is to look for and swing at the pitches he can hit, and not just take pitches for the sake of taking them to get on base. If he does that, he’ll get his share of walks and hits. And if I remember correctly, that’s exactly what Mark McGwire teaches. He doesn’t want hitters up at the plate just taking pitches, he wants SELECTIVE hitters, who stay within their strength, and swing at the pitches in their happy zone.

    I too believe, and won’t be swayed by a “highly selective chart”, as Badger put it.

    As for Delwyn Young, he was a dead fastball hitter who became exposed as soon as pithers started changing speeds and putting a wrinkle in their pitches. He probably didn’t see too many wrinkles in the rarefied air of the PCL.

    Before giving up on Gordon I want to see more, if only because his thumb injury last year derailed any chance he had of making second half adjustments, which we’ve seen with other players. And while I am always wary of spring training numbers, I am encouraged with what Gordon has done this spring. It’s not definitive, but at the very least, it could be a harbinger of things to come.

    Mark and all those who have given up on Gordon, are entitled to their opinions. And so are those on the opposite end of the spectrum. I for one think that without getting a substantial return, the Dodgers would be making a serious error in trading him. And I wouldn’t trade him for Carpenter and/or Descalso of the Cardinals. That’s a deal that I believe the Dodgers would ultimately regret. I still believe that Gordon will soften the rough edges, and become the leadoff hitter we’re looking for. For the time being, he needs to either continue to sharpen his skills at ALBQ, or if he finds his way into the Dodgers lineup, for now it probably would be best for him to hit at the bottom of the order.

    And I don’t care what position he plays. I believe he will get better in the field no matter where he plays, and I believe he will hit, and that his speed will be highly disruptive to the opposition.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    And one other thing. Given Mark Ellis’ poor performance against righthanded pitching last year, what would be so bad about a platoon at 2B, with Gordon playing against righthanders? That would be a good way to ease him back into the lineup, and if things worked out for Gordon, a good way to ease Ellis out of the lineup. Or it could be a full year platoon, followed by Gordon taking over full-time next year when Ellis is gone.

    And if Hanley doesn’t work out at short, it’s a way to ease Gordon back into that position.

    And whether Gordon succeeds or not, the Dodgers will have a better idea of how to proceed going forward.

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    http://www.truebluela.com/2013/3/7/4075172/dodgers-spring-training-2013-dee-gordon

    Everything I read tells me that Gordon has the right attitude, and is working hard to improve his game. I was encouraged by the bunt he put down the other day, and apparently it’s something he’s working diligently on. I’m getting the impression more and more that Gordon is beginning to smooth out some of the rough edges as he begins to mature. Now, I believe, would be the worse time to give up on him. It appears as if he hasn’t given up on himself, and I get the impression that neither has Mattingly.

  17. Badger says:

    Brooklyn likes him. And you know I agree with everything you said. Though I MIGHT trade him for Carpenter. Carpenter is just flat out a better hitter. Not the speed though, and that is something you know I really like. Yeah, we might regret it later. Carpenter every day could hit .280 with double digit home runs. They say he has been playing a very good second base this spring. The Cardinals looked to us to fill that SS position once recently, maybe they will again.

    I think the reason Gordon doesn’t walk is very simple – pitchers don’t really need to be fine with him. They are going to challenge him with pitches over the plate before they start looking at the corners. Once he starts hitting those, then pitchers will work a little harder. It’s spring, and pitchers are working on their stuff, so, it’s easier to walk now, especially if you aren’t trying to make the team by getting hits. He is trying to make the team by getting on base. If I were his coach, I would tell him to bunt at least twice a game, maybe for now once every at bat. Fastballs down the middle are the easiest pitch to bunt, lay it down skinny! Make the infielders play out of position for you. Then the pitcher won’t be throwing the ball down the middle. Man, if I had that speed I would have hit .400 in college. (I only hit .333, a few bunt hits)

    I hope you are right about the team not giving up on him. It’s also important he doesn’t give up on himself. I don’t believe he will. And if he figures it out…….. 120 runs every year for 7 years.

  18. Badger says:

    btw, has anyone checked Gordon’s stats as of today?

    He is doing well. .286, .500 OBP, 5 for 5 stolen base attempts and a bunch of runs scored.

    He’s taking advantage. He’s looking good in that lead-off role.

  19. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    We have talked all around the roster from pitching to catching to starting 8 on the field to the bench.

    Right now, I am concerned or have many questions about the bench.

    OK, start with 1 catcher. Who ever they think should have this, fine.

    But it is the other four (4) players and what they bring to the team that is a question right now.

    But —– we must back-up because the starters for 2B and 3B are not clear.

    Some feel that Cruz will be opening at 3B. But that is still three weeks away.

    Uribe is trying. The Dodgers have to keep paying him the entire season. And teams are not in line to trade for him (yet; injuries might play into his abilities).

    Keep hearing a combo of Mark Ellis and Schumaker at 2B, but that ties up one of the bench numbers. So if Schumaker is one (and should be because of his past experience and such) that leaves only 3 players.

    Who is left? Gordon, Hairston, Punto, Sellers, Castellanos, Herrera, and Puig. Seven names without anyone from the minor league camp busting forth.

    Two should be outfielders, but Castellanos, Hairston, and Herrera can do both infield and outfield.

    All of this will not be easy. Seems like they almost have to go with Hairston and Schumaker (both can do infield and outfield to a degree) and two more. Who do you like?????? between Gordon, Punto, Sellers, Puig, Castellanos, and Herrera???

    Or does Ned trade some away, and or, bring in some new bench role players???

    And someone needs to be able to play 1B for backup needs.

  20. Gonzo says:

    I do prefer Weeks over Dee for one major reason. He has been playing longer and is more likely to get to where he needs to be sooner than Dee.

    Again, Dee’s been playing ball for only 6 years and while he has a better natural abilities than weeks, Weeks has always been a ball player and knows the little intricacies of the game that Dee will eventually learn.

    All I’m saying IMO is that the better fit for this team now is a kid like J. Weeks.

  21. Ken says:

    Hairston starting at 1B again today, if it does not rain.

  22. Quasimodo says:

    Roger, I think that is exactly the same page management is on and me as well. It also puts Gordon in the minors. 1B backup seems to be what it all comes down to and the limited play time narrows it further. Ned making a trade might be the solution. But strange as it sounds it may be Uribe….Damn! this is making my head hurt.

  23. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    Also, I would think that Nick Punto, plays into their final list. He has over 3,000 plate appearances in the majors. Is truly a vet.

    But he is like Ellis at 2b. Both are the same age, and about the same height. We do not need both. I would trade one and keep a younger Herrera or Castellanos or even Sellers.

    Hairston is a must, I guess.

  24. Badger says:

    All back ups and all very similar Roger.

    I don’t know it really matters all that much. Hairston will make the team as long as he is healthy.

  25. Badger says:

    Dodgers leading all of baseball in hitting, walks and stolen bases. Gordon contributing to all three categories.

  26. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    Gor-don, Gor-don, Gor-don . . .

  27. HemmorhoidRage says:

    barring an injury, i think dee makes the team. gives them a pinch runner option late in a game as well.

  28. HemmorhoidRage says:

    crazy weather grapevine snowed in overnight and palm springs even getting rain. just get that crap out of the way before i head to phoenix 1n 10 days

  29. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Good point HemRage. When I mentioned the possibility of a platoon with Mark Ellis above, I thought about, but didn’t mention, that Gordon would be a valuable piece off the bench on the days he didn’t start simply because of his speed. As a lefthanded hitter he’d play most of the games in the platoon, but be available for pinch running, hitting, etc. if needed off the bench. And if he begins to get better at bunting, he’d be more valuable in situations where he was sent to the plate to sacrifice a runner(s) to second and/or third. With his speed, a less than perfect bunt could get him on base and save an out.

    I doubt if he makes the team as a full-time bench player. He needs to play, not make an occasional appearance off the bench.

    If Gordon starts the year at ALBQ, and performs well there, it’s likely that he could force his way back on the team and into the lineup. I think Mattingly likes him a lot, and wouldn’t hesitate to use him if the opportunity presents itself.

  30. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Maybe we should change the title of this thread to “The Case FOR Dee Gordon”.

  31. Bball says:

    Anyone watching the WBC. I’m born and bred in the USA but no way in going for them. Mexico or Dominican Republic. Anyone else feel the same or nobody cares

  32. HemmorhoidRage says:

    What’s the WBC? Must be some co-ed softball league, or might as well be. MLB is the league that I have interest in, nothing else actually.

  33. Pete M. says:

    Bball… Love the WBC…I was at the Ravine last go around and got to see Yu Darvish…
    Mexico, besides Agon and Cruzzz have one of my old time LAD favories, Karim Garcia.
    Watching fans from Asia is always a ball…They are stone cold crazy…

  34. Badger says:

    I am fine with the WBC as long as no Dodgers are hurt by going all out too early. Doesn’t matter to me who wins it. It is clearly more important to other nations then it is to us.

  35. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    Ah yes, Karim Garcia. Once, a Dodger minor league hopeful star.

    I saw him play here in San Antonio for the AA team. Know some of the front office staff — and they said his problem was . . . parties. His friends would come up from Mexico and want to party at all hours. He could not say no to them.

    Karim has not played in the majors since 2004.

    But from 1995 through 2004, he played for 7 different major league teams.
    In that time, Basebnall-Reference.com shows he had 12 different uniforms and numbers on his back. 46, 12, 24, 29, 24, 57, 50, 57, 20, 28, 20, 47. He should probably play those number in lottery chances.

    Since then has been in the minors and in Japan baseball. He is now about 37, just ripe for Ned to sign him for a bench role.

    I have some of his early baseball cards. Good looking guy.

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