MIDLAND, Mich. - Dee Gordon is getting another opportunity at the big league level. Hanley Ramirez suffered a shoulder injury on August 4 at Wrigley Field and his status is day-to-day for the immediate future. Since coming off the disabled list in early June, Ramirez has been one of the best hitters in the Major Leagues, hitting for a .361 batting average, the same average as Miguel Cabrera. Gordon was called back up to the Dodgers on August 5 and is expected to split time with Nick Punto at shortstop while Ramirez is out.
Gordon, the son of long-time Major League relief pitcher Tom Gordon, was named by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm system in both 2010 and 2011. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2008 as a 20-year-old out of Seminole Community College in Sanford, Fla., and started his first full professional season with the Great Lakes Loons in 2009.
The native of Avon Park, Fla. hit .301 for the Loons in 2009 on his way to being named a co-MVP of the Midwest League. Along with hitting over .300, Gordon had 32 extra-base hits, including 17 doubles and 12 triples, and stole 73 bases, a Loons franchise record. In fact, the second-most single-season steals in franchise history was 53, from James Baldwin in 2012, 20 steals back of Gordon's mark.
Gordon helped lead Great Lakes to the playoffs for the first time in the franchise's brief history. In six postseason games, he led the Loons in hitting, with a .357 batting average, going 10-for-28 in six games.
After a solid 2010 season (.277 average, 29 XBH, 53 steals) with Chattanooga, the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate in 2010, Gordon started 2011 with the Albuquerque Isotopes in the Pacific Coast League at the Triple-A level. In his first 50 games in Albuquerque, Gordon hit .315, with nine extra-base hits, and stole 22 bases. After an injury to Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal, who had been an All-Star the prior season, Gordon got called up to "The Show" on June 6, 2011. Furcal was traded to the Cardinals in July 2011 and Gordon played well enough to earn the starting shortstop job at the start of 2012.
In 56 games with the Dodgers in 2011, Gordon hit .304, with nine doubles and two triples, while stealing 24 bases. At just 23 years old, it looked like Gordon would be the starting shortstop for a decade in Chavez Ravine.
However, in 2012, Gordon saw significant drops in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. On July 4, Gordon tore the UCL in his right thumb. By the time he was healthy and back with the Dodgers, Los Angeles had traded for Ramirez, who took over the starting job at shortstop.
With Ramirez entrenched at shortstop, Gordon began the 2013 season in Albuquerque. In the Isotopes' first 25 games, the Florida native hit .314, with nine doubles and two triples, while picking up 14 stolen bases.
After his good start with the Isotopes, the Dodgers called him up to Chavez Ravine when Ramirez went on the disabled in early May. Gordon struggled, hitting .175, with only 11 hits and just two extra-base hits in 63 at-bats over 19 games. On May 27, he was sent back to Albuquerque.
Gordon responded with a 2-for-5 outing in his first game back at Isotopes Park. After his return to Albuquerque in late May, he hit .305, with eight doubles and six triples in 55 games, along with 30 stolen bases.
Still only 25 years old, Gordon has plenty of time to make an impact at the Major League level and fulfill the potential that led to being the Dodgers top prospect in back-to-back years. That could start soon. On August 7, Gordon made his first start with LA since his call-up on August 5. He went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.