2017 stats: 653 AB, .308 AVG, .341 OBP, 2 HR, 114 R, 33 RBI, 60 SB, 3.1 WAR (Baseball Reference)
The 2016 season was one to forget for Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon after his suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Gordon, 29, would post a .268/.312/.333 slash line in 248 plate appearances following the suspension, but he failed to play at a high level throughout the season.
Gordon had a tremendous bounce-back season in 2017, just missing an all-star appearance. He started the season by posting a .286 average at the plate during April, which was actually his worst month of the season. He also struck out 17 times, and struggled to earn any walks with only three for the month.
As the season progressed, so did Gordon’s performance at the plate, though he struggled with consistency. He hit effectively for two months, including a .291 average, five doubles, six RBI and .371 on-base percentage in May. His numbers for June weren’t nearly as impressive as May’s, as his OBP dropped from .344 to .333, and his average dropped from .291 to .280. However he stole 13 bases during June, which was his season high.
Once July began, so did the second baseman’s consistency. He hit .327 in July, .313 in August and .345 in September. He hit his first home run in July and seemed to take a more aggressive approach offensively — which paid off for the most part — but he struck out 15 times, and got caught stealing four out of 13 times. Gordon raised his average to .300 in August.
He finished the season strongly, having his best offensive month of the season. He hit .345, with one home run, four triples and eight RBI. Gordon would finish the season with a .308 batting average — 40 points higher than his poor 2016 season — and also earned nine triples, which was his highest amount in three years. However, Gordon had an odd season defensively, committing the most errors (12) in three years.
Despite Gordon loving Miami, his high level of play likely earned a first-class ticket out of town. It’s clear the Marlins’ front office wants to rebuild, and Gordon will make too much money for a team who wants to cut payroll. It would be shocking if Miami didn’t sell high on Gordon’s stock and trade the multi-tooled player for a great return of prospects.
During last year’s trade deadline, the Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays were all interested in acquiring Gordon, but talks never intensified. Though, these teams are still in a position to acquire Gordon.
The young star will never hit for power or drive in 100 RBI, but his dynamic speed, contact and talent on the base paths can vastly improve a team. Don’t be surprised if Gordon’s market heats up during the Winter Meetings. A few teams who could surprisingly enter the Gordon sweepstakes: Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers (to replace Ian Kinsler who is likely to be traded) and Los Angeles Dodgers...again.