Dee Gordon can steal 70 bases. ‘Nuff said. He’s Juan Pierre before he started bulking up and hitting two homers a year. “Juan, did you eat all your spinach?” “Yes, mother!” For some reason, I picture Juan Pierre living with the mother from Throw Momma from the Train and talking like Napoleon Dynamite. Dee Gordon is so fast he just ran into your room, moved your last wisp of hair from the left side of your head to your right side and all you felt was a small breeze. On Bill James’s Speed Score, he had a 9.0 in Triple-A. Jose Reyes was the fastest in the major leagues last year at 8.4. Frankly, the name Dee Gordon just sounds fast to me, and don’t call me Frank Lee. He’s like a coked-out-of-his-mind Ron LeFlore on six Red Bulls. He’s Michael J. Fox in the episode of Family Ties when he takes speed to study for a test. He’s Alex P. Keaton’s roller chair sliding from first base to second. So what can we expect of Dee Gordon for 2012 fantasy baseball and what makes him a keeper?
The speed, doode. Wasn’t that clear? His walk rate isn’t going to win any awards, unless we’re talking about the “Dusty Baker You Don’t Need To Walk” award. In 233 plate appearances last year with the Dodgers, he had 7 walks. Burp. In 313 Triple-A plate appearances, he had 18 walks. More indigestion. It’s all right; as with most speedsters, he hits the ball on the ground and runs and runs and runs and…You get the drift. If Gordon’s ground ball rate would’ve qualified last year, he would’ve been up there with Ichiro, Andrus and Maybin (and Casey Kotchman — wow, did he get lucky with balls batted into play). Gordon can hit 30 dribblers a year and get 40 steals. He’s not going to give you any power (not even bulked up Juan Pierre power) or RBIs. He’s only 150 pounds soaking wet. He’s a string bean with legs! The rest of the five categories, he should be fine in — say 80/0/30/.265/45. It’s not worth spending money on taking him to an all-you-can-eat buffet, but he is worth keeping in fantasy for the right price.