Who led all of Major League Baseball in hits last year? That would be none other than Dee Gordon, the speedy second baseman for the Miami Marlins. Recently, Fox Sports Florida got a very simple quote from Dee about his hitting approach, with Dee saying simply: "I don't care about walking." In a league that has become focused on the intricacies of working the walk, the beauty that is on-base percentage, and things like Win Probability Added, Dee Gordon simply just goes up ready to hit the ball.
Dee Gordon's lack of care about walking can be chalked up to a couple of different reasons. The first is the fact that Gordon is one of the fastest runners in the game. As Dee says, "You get to 3-2 against me, who is going to throw me a 3-2 breaking ball? They walk the guys who can't run. They make us little guys earn hits." That is as valid a reason as any for Dee Gordon to eschew walking. There is also the simple matter of confidence at the plate. While Gordon largely scuffled at the plate in his time with the Dodgers, he came to Miami and thrived. A lot of this stems from his newly found distaste for the walk. It isn't a distaste brought about by an inherent hatred for the walk; rather, Dee puts it best, saying, "I've become a better hitter since I said screw walks."
That just about sums it up for the Miami Marlins leadoff hitter. He led the majors last year in singles, bunt hits, infield hits, and stolen bases. Is a walk the same as a single? Maybe not when you are Dee Gordon and every ball in play puts immense pressure on defenses. Marlins fans certainly are not going to complain when Dee reaches first base on a bunt, and then proceeds to turn his bunt into a double by stealing second. These fans won't care about walking in these moments either, preferring to watch Dee sprint around the bases.