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Middle-infield could be strength for Marlins

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Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon will form a formidable double-play combination if they can regain their form from last year.

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Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon were possibly the biggest (positive) surprises for the Marlins in 2015. Hechavarria improved his offensive production for the second year in a row to show that he might, finally, be reaching his potential, and Gordon showed that he is more than just a demon on the basepaths - and then some.

Both players showed exemplary skill in the field, too. Gordon won a Gold Glove, and Hechavarria might have as well if he hadn't missed the last month of the season with a hamstring injury. With these two players patrolling the middle of the infield, Miami's prospects for 2016 look bright.

Recently, it has been discussed on Fish Stripes that a good defense can lead a franchise to success, and the double-play duo of Hechavarria and Gordon will, obviously, play a big part in the overall performance of the defensive unit this coming season. No wonder that some people are thinking that the Marlins have the potential to be a top defense in 2016, then, as the pair have a good shot at joining the select list of second base-shortstop teammates to win Gold Gloves in the same season.

It is not just in the field where Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon succeed for the Marlins, though. Everyone knew about Gordon's speed before he came to Miami; it was his primary asset at the time. It led to 58 stolen bases and 88 runs scored in 2015, 25 more than Christian Yelich for most on the club. Couple that with the fact that Hechavarria has started to drive in runs more consistently, and not only can the pair save many runs with their gloves, but they can also create many on offense.

What the Marlins have up the middle is pretty special. By signing Gordon to a long-term extension and attempting to do the same with Hechavarria, the Marlins are promoting continuity, which will only strengthen the partnership between the two blossoming stars. Not since Alex Gonzalez and Luis Castillo wore the teal and black has a middle-infield relationship like the one Hechavarria and Gordon enjoy been seen in South Florida. It's fun to watch and should continue to be throughout 2016 and beyond.

The dynamic duo have the ability to turn heads on both sides of the ball. The Marlins have found an effective double-play combination for the first time in a while and it will likely only help the team down the stretch. If the injury bug relocates from South Florida this year, the Marlins have a shot at the playoffs if everyone contributes. Apart from Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, no two other players may contribute more on this team than Hechavarria and Gordon.