Dee Gordon spent most of the 2013 season at Triple-A Albuquerque, and he hit .297 with 33 RBI and 49 stolen bases (60 attempts). In 38 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, Gordon hit .234 with 10 stolen bases while seeing most of his playing time at shortstop (27 games-23 starts) when Hanley Ramirez was injured.
Gordon played 143 games for the Dodgers (563 total plate appearances) during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, hitting .260 with a .299 on-base percentage and 56 stolen bases over that span. He started 124 games at shortstop during those two seasons, but played some outfield during Dominican Winter League and a report surfaced that he added “considerable” muscle during the offseason. Thus far in spring training Gordon is making the transition to second base, and he appears to be in the mix for the starting job.
Should fantasy baseball owners be targeting Gordon as a potential sleeper?
The Dodgers signed Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million contract in October, and it was considered almost certain he would be the team’s Opening Day second baseman. But recent speculation from ESPN’s Jim Bowden suggests there’s a chance Guerrero opens the season in Triple-A, which would give Gordon a chance to make a case for the starting job.
Gordon has a .301 career batting average in the minors, including a .311 mark over 692 Triple-A at-bats, so there seems to be some untapped upside there if he can secure consistent playing time. He set a career-high with a .385 on-base percentage during his time with Albuquerque in 2013, but his walk rate during major league career (5.5 percent) has been dismal and suppresses his stolen base potential.
Gordon’s ultimate role will determine his fantasy value, and it’s hard to imagine the Dodgers keeping Guerrero in the minors for long, if at all, given the money he’s slated to earn. But I do think Gordon can stick as a utility infielder, and he could get some starts at shortstop if Ramirez struggles to stay healthy again.
Gordon is best left undrafted in most fantasy leagues, but the potential for him to steal 20-25 bases, even in minimal playing time, is enough to garner attention from those in NL-only leagues if the news surrounding him remains positive this spring.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.