DEE GORDON, 26, second base.
Final 2014 stats: .289, 92 runs, 24 doubles, 12 triples, 64 stolen bases, with .326 on-base and .378 slugging percentages.
Contract status: First year of salary arbitration.
The good: Gave Dodgers a legitimate leadoff hitter. Started the season in a platoon at second and then won the job outright in the early going.
Led the league in stolen bases and triples, and tied for the team lead (with Yasiel Puig) in runs. Got off to torrid start, batting .357 with 19 stolen bases in his first 28 games. The left-handed hitter batted .295 against left-handers. Had only 30 RBI but hit .306 with runners in scoring position. Was a pleasant surprise defensively in first full season as a second baseman. Upbeat and solid presence in the clubhouse.
The bad: Not that it’s actually bad, but after that early torrid start in his first 28 games, hit a more expected .274 the rest of the season. Hit .209 in a 34-game stretch from May 7 to June 15.
What’s next: Life as a Miami Marlin.
The take: Did the Dodgers sell high when they traded Gordon to the Marlins this week? That’s apparently their take, the new front office regime seemingly unconvinced that Gordon, despite his youth and inexperience at second, was still coming on.
Despite putting on several pounds of muscle, there was some feeling he wore down. In his first 36 stolen base attempts, he was thrown out only three times. In his last 46 attempts, he was thrown out 16 times, so at the least, opponents were getting more wise to his ways on the bases. Still, he hit .299 in his last 34 games, so it’s not like he disintegrated.
The best prospect the Dodgers received from the Marlins for Gordon and Dan Haren was left-hander Andrew Heaney, a former ninth overall pick they quickly flipped to the Angels for one year of Howie Kendrick. If Gordon continues to improve and Kendrick walks after his contract expires next season, this could look like a rough trade.
For a guy who bombed as the Dodgers’ shortstop of the future, and then last season was moved all over the field, Gordon had to relish his 2014 success.