The Miami Marlins are more than a one-man team. The Marlins are widely considered the property of Giancarlo Stanton and Co., but their engine doesn’t run without the legs and bat of leadoff hitter Dee Gordon.
At the beginning of last season, I wrote an article calling Gordon the best 2nd baseman in MLB. Then he got caught using a banned substance and missed the majority of the 2016 season. It was a slap in the face to the Marlins organization, but the fans were the ones in total shock. 2016 was to be the year where he ascended to the top. Gordon, coupled with Stanton, was to lead the Marlins out the basement and challenge for the NL East title, but it wasn’t meant to be.
2017 offers a new chance for Gordon to reclaim some dignity. But it won’t be easy. I’m sure he’ll face criticism and side-eye glances and drug testing for him will be more regularly scheduled, but he can do it. PEDS or not, Gordon is still one hell of a player. Look over his stats in his shortened season last year and you could tell where he was headed.
In 2014 he made the All-Star game when he hit .289 with 176 hits, 12 triples and stole 64 bases. A fluke? No. The following year he hit .333 with 205 hits, a career high 46 RBI and stole 58 bases. During that shameful 2016 campaign, he hit .268 with 87 hits, 14 RBI, and 30 stolen bases in 79 games. He was right on pace to equal if not break his best season’s totals.
The Marlin and I are hoping that with 2016 problems are behind him and we will get to see what he can do with a chip on his shoulder. He has the money after signing a lucrative new contract, so now it’s time to continue on the path to greatness. Gordon is not a power hitter, but he compliments Stanton’s power with speed and timely hitting.
The Marlins may rely on Stanton’s bat, but Stanton’s bat is only as dangerous as Gordon allows it to be. The league’s most dangerous one-two punch is ready to make their mark.