There are a few items the Marlins must address if they are going to reap the full benefit of acquiring Dee Gordon from the Dodgers. First, the Marlins, and manager Mike Redmond, will need to update their stolen base philosophy in 2015. Second, Gordon must continue to get on base. If one of these items is neglected this whole deal will start to look a little shoddy, especially if Dan Haren retires.
Let us begin with young Flash. Dee Gordon broke out last year with 64 stolen bases to lead the league. He also had a respective batting average and on base percentage of .289 and .326 respectively. However, it is yet to be seen if Gordon can be consistent at the plate over multiple years. Gordon’s WAR last year was 2.4, a big reason for that was his offensive production. Gordon had a defensive WAR of -0.3. Compare that to fellow second baseman Ian Kinsler who had a defensive WAR of 2.9 this past season. This is not to say that Gordon can’t improve his defense going forward. He most certainly can. It is worth noting, however, for a guy who relies solely on offensive production, and a majority of that coming in the form of stolen bases, he will have to prove he can be stable at the plate and at least maintain his on base percentage to provide significant value. If Dee falters in getting on base consistently he will not be able to steal bases and thus will not provide enough value to the Marlin’s to justify the trade. This is not the only factor to consider when analyzing this trade.
Mike Redmond will enter his third year as head coach of Miami and with the new season will presumably come a whole new base running approach. The Marlins were next to last in the league last year in plate appearances per stolen base attempt (PA/SBA) at 78.29. The Dodgers, from where Gordon came, attempted more steals than any team in 2014 except the Royals. The Dodgers had a PA/SBA of 33.14. Needless to say Redmond will need to be prepared to call a few more stolen bases in 2015.
If you look back at Redmond’s coaching career so far he has not coached teams with high stolen base totals. In 2013, his first year as Miami’s head coach, the Marlins were in the middle of the pack in PA/SBA at 56.27. The league mean that year was 54.94. These numbers were a little distorted, because Juan Pierre played that year and led the team with 23 stolen bases in just over 300 plate appearances. Pierre hardly contributed in any other way that year. Redmond was the coach for one year for minor lead Dunedin in 2012 where his team was also within one standard deviation of the league’s PA/SBA mean. In 2011, his Lansing Lugnuts team was slightly below league average for stolen base attempts.
I am certainly not saying that just because Redmond’s past teams didn’t run that the 2015 Miami team won’t run. My point is that it is not as easy as simply trading for a fast player, plugging him into the line-up, and then watching the run scoring that ensues. Redmond will have to consciously make an effort to put Dee in situations where he can use his speed to help the team. Just as important, Gordon will need to either improve at other facets of the game or prove his consistency at the plate to provide value to the Marlins and keep them from regressing.Next post: The Fantasy Pronk: 2015 Catcher Rankings
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