Next up for Review is Devaris (Dee) Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Gordon was drafted in the 4th round (127th overall) of the 2008 June draft, and received a $250 K signing bonus from the team. Gordon had previously attended Nova Southeastern University in Florida. His father played in the Majors (Tom "Flash" Gordon)
Current Age: 22
His Stats So Far (Through Wednesday's Games)
Clearly, speed is the name of Gordon's game. He stole an absolutely ridiculous 73 bases in the Midwest League last season, and scored nearly 100 runs as well. While I am not a huge fan of his strikeout to walk rate, its also not horrific either. He's going to get on base a lot just based on the speed he possesses, so the 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio isn't nearly as concerning to me.
Gordon has played a premium defensive position his whole career to this point, being a SS. His error totals, while not particularly amazing, don't appear to be that unusual for a minor leaguer either, as he has committed 24 errors so far at AA this season. I think that he will likely be given the time he needs in the minor leagues to help improve that number to a solid place. Rafael Furcal is currently under contract through 2011, and has an option for the 2012 season that becomes guaranteed if he reaches 600 plate appearances in 2011.
Here's what ESPN's Keith Law had to say about Gordon prior to his Futures' game appearance (sub. req'd):
The Dodgers took a big risk promoting Gordon two levels to AA, and as predicted he's struggled at the plate, with poor pitch recognition leading to all-around trouble on offense. He's a plus runner and a potential Gold Glover at short, and he has the hands and bat speed to hit for average.
I think that long term, he should be just fine as a shortstop, and will be given every opportunity to prove that. I don't believe that he's ever going to establish a lot of power, probably no more than 5-7 homeruns per season, but if he can continue to exploit his speed and steal 50+ bases a season, that would be more than plenty. Overall, I think that the Dodgers will not rush him too much, unless they feel that they need him to step in and play 2B for them in the coming seasons. His fantasy impact is potentially huge, as there are very few high stolen base threats at SS.
Predicted ETA: Early 2012.