Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes is counting down the top 100 Marlins of all-time. For comparison’s sake, we are using the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric as a measuring device. The top 100 WAR ratings are being featured. Today’s Marlin, Devaris Gordon, earned 5.5 over his two seasons with Florida.
Gordon, a 5’11”, 170 lb. second baseman from Windermere, Florida, was born to 21-year veteran pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon on April 22nd, 1988, or more correctly to Mrs. Flash. His pedigree guaranteed he wouldn’t escape scout’s notice as he came of age, and the Los Angeles Dodgers chose him in the fourth round of the 2008 amateur draft, with the 127th overall selection. Also chosen in that round were Brandon Crawford and Jason Kipnis.
After debuting with the Dodgers in 2011, Gordon appeared in 329 games for them over the next four seasons, hitting .272/.314/.345/.658 with 68 RBI and 130 stolen bases. That includes an NL leading 64 stolen bases in 2014. After a terrible two-and-a-half seasons fielding at the shortstop position, Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly moved him to second base, where he eventually earned a Gold Glove with the Marlins in 2015. After the 2014 season, the Dodgers traded Gordon with Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas, and cash to the Marlins for Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney, and Enrique Hernandez.
Gordon batted leadoff for the Marlins, and led the NL with 205 hits, 58 stolen bases, and a .333 batting average in 2015. In addition to his Gold Glove, he earned a Silver Slugger at the second baseman position, his second all-star appearance, and enough MVP votes to finish 16th in the NL race. Gordon had 59 multi-hit games over his 144 starts for the Marlins, including 25 contests with three or more. He also stole multiple bases on 12 occasions, including on May 22nd, when he went two-for-five with a run scored and four stolen bases in an 8-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He also stole four bases on August 25th, going two-for-four with two runs scored as the Marlins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-2. Gordon also ranked third in the NL with eight triples, second with 434 assists, third wtih 293 putouts, and second with 111 double plays turned. His NL leading .992 fielding percentage at second base was aided by his NL third 5.15 range factor for second basemen.
In 2016, Gordon started the season out by getting hits in six of his first 11 at bats, including two doubles and a triple in a pair of losses to the Detroit Tigers. After hitting .266/.289/.340/.629 through Miami’s first 21 games, it was revealed that Gordon had tested positive for PED’s, and was suspended for 80 games.
Miami faithful don’t seem to hold a grudge, though:
Gordon appeared in 58 of Miami’s last 60 games in 2016, and after all was said and done, he had hit .268/.305/.335/.641 with 14 RBI, an NL-eighth 30 stolen bases, and a major league 10th 81.1% stolen base success rate. Gordon collected multiple hits in 23 of his 77 starts, as the Marlins went 33-46 in his appearances (versus 46-36 without him). Gordon’s most impactful moment may have been in Miami’s first at bat after the death of Jose Fernandez, on September 26th against the New York Mets:
Gordon starts this season in the first year of a 5-year, $59.7 million contract, including a $14 million team option in 2021 and a $1 million conditional buyout option in 2020. In spite of his guilt concerning PED’s last season, I believe he has enough left in the tank to play long and hard enough to make us (mostly) forget about it.
Check back tomorrow for the #33 Marlin on the list, center fielder Preston Wilson.