Gordon with the Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins – No. 9
April 22, 1988 |
|June 6, 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
(through 2014 season)
|Runs batted in||68|
Career highlights and awards
Devaris Gordon was born in Windermere, Florida to former Major League pitcher Tom Gordon and Devona Strange. His parents were high-school sweethearts but did not marry; Tom had relationships with three other women as well and had a total of five children, all in Florida. Dee was his second-oldest. When Dee was six years old, his mother Devona was murdered by an ex-boyfriend. Tom sued for custody of the boy and raised him with the help of his mother.
Dee followed in his father's footsteps when he appeared in the Midwest League All-Star game, just as his father did 21 years before. Dee's half-brother, Nick Gordon, was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the 2014 draft.
Prep and college
Despite being Tom Gordon's son, the younger Gordon did not take up baseball until his high school years, having previously dedicated himself to basketball. Gordon played at Avon Park High School (like his father), Seminole Community College, and Southeastern University, all in central Florida. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft.
In 2008, with the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League, he hit .331 in 60 games. With the Great Lakes Loons in 2009, Gordon hit .301 and stole 73 bases. He was named the MVP of the Midwest League, selected to its mid-season and post-season All-Star teams, and selected as its "Prospect of the year". The Dodgers also selected him as their "Minor League Player of the Year".
In 2010, he was with the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Double-A Southern League and was selected to represent the Lookouts in the All-Star game but was unable to play because he was also selected to the All-Star Futures Game. He hit .277 in 133 games in 2010, while stealing 53 bases and committing 37 errors. He played for Gigantes de Carolina in the Puerto Rico Baseball League after the season. He was assigned to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes at the start of 2011.
Los Angeles Dodgers
At the start of 2011, he was the Dodgers' best prospect according to Baseball America. After an injury to shortstop Rafael Furcal, the Dodgers purchased Gordon's contract on June 6, 2011 and he made his major league debut in the top of the ninth as a pinch runner against the Philadelphia Phillies that night, and scored a run. His father was in attendance. The next day, in his first start, he had hits in his first three major league at bats and stole a base. In a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 1, Gordon stole second, third and home in the same inning. He became the first Dodger player since Harvey Hendrick in 1928 and the first Major Leaguer since Jayson Werth on May 12, 2009 to accomplish that feat. Gordon appeared in 56 games for the Dodgers, hitting .304 with 24 stolen bases. He also stole 30 bases for the Isotopes, giving him a total of 54 between the Majors and the Minors in 2011. In just 56 games for the Dodgers, Gordon's 24 stolen bases were tied for the most by a rookie during the 2011 season. He was selected to the Topps All-Star Rookie team.
Gordon hit his first career home run on May 1, 2012, leading off the game against Jhoulys Chacín of the Colorado Rockies. On June 1, 2012, Gordon was part of a Dodgers lineup that featured the sons of five former Major Leaguers (along with Tony Gwynn, Jr., Iván DeJesús, Jr., Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Scott Van Slyke). This was the first time in Major League history that this had occurred. It was also the first time a starting infield of four major league sons had ever occurred: first baseman Van Slyke, second baseman Hairston, third baseman De Jesus and shortstop Gordon. Gordon was leading the league in stolen bases when he tore the UCL in his right thumb on a successful steal of third base on July 4 against the Cincinnati Reds. He did not rejoin the club until September 11, by which time the club had acquired Hanley Ramírez to play shortstop. With his starting spot gone, Gordon was relegated to a pinch running role the remainder of the season. Overall, in 2012, he played in 87 games and hit .228 with 32 steals. After the season, he played for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League.
He began 2013 back in AAA with the Isotopes and was called up to the Dodgers on May 4 after an injury to Ramírez. He played in 19 games, during which he hit a poor .175, and was optioned back to AAA. He rejoined the Dodgers late in the season and was used primarily as a pinch runner. He stole 10 bases in 12 attempts for the Dodgers in 2013 while hitting .231 in 38 games. Later in the season, the Isotopes started playing Gordon at second base and he played center field in the Dominican Winter League in an attempt to improve his versatility.
Gordon beat out Alexander Guerrero to become the Dodgers starting second baseman for the 2014 season. He hit .301 in the first half of the season, while leading the league in triples (9) and steals (42) and he was selected to the National League squad at the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. At the All-Star game at Target Field, when Gordon was in the on-deck circle, Derek Jeter told Fox TV commentators how amazing it was to see Dee there, also playing as an All-Star, having first met him at age 5 when his father Tom was then pitching for the Yankees. Gordon had entered the game as a pinch-runner in the fourth inning, and scored the game-tying run. Overall, he went 0–1, but made a strong fielding play at second base, sliding to his right to grab a ground ball to end the sixth inning.
Gordon finished the 2014 season with 64 stolen bases, the most in Major League Baseball. He hit .289 in over 600 at-bats and also led the league with 12 triples. He was selected as a Sporting News National League all-star.
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