Discussion

Dee Gordon's All-Star potential

Updated: March 18, 2012, 12:18 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Dee Gordon asks a lot of questions, something that Barry Larkin noticed the first time he worked with the Dodgers shortstop in the offseason. Precise questions, about how you hold the glove in making a play at the second base bag, about how you make sure you hit the ball on the ground when you want to, about your mental approach.

This curiosity is part of the reason Larkin came away from his conversations with Gordon believing that the son of former relief pitcher Tom Gordon will become a good player -- a really good player. "He's got the ability to be an All-Star -- and a perennial All-Star," Larkin said over the phone Friday, from Arizona.

As with all young players, there are flaws to be found in Gordon, who turns 24 in April. He hasn't drawn a high volume of walks in the minor leagues -- 40 in 133 games in 2010, for example. He hasn't hit for power, with seven homers in 1,814 plate appearances in the minors.

But what Gordon does have is game-changing speed -- he stole 24 bases in just 54 games with the Dodgers last year, and others in the Dodgers' organization will tell you Gordon has a very strong sense of who he is and what he must do to be successful. Play an efficient shortstop. Put the ball on the ground. Pressure the defense with his speed. Run.

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