New Mariners outfielder (!) Dee Gordon definitely has the speed required for the position
As he's done a few times already this offseason, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto was busy on Thursday. News broke that Seattle made a trade with the Marlins, acquiring two-time All-Star and Gold Glove-winning second baseman Dee Gordon from the Marlins.
Here's a preview of what he might look like in his new digs:
#Mariners acquire two-time All-Star Dee Gordon and international slot money from Miami in exchange for minor leaguers Robert Dugger, Nick Neidert and Christopher Torres.- MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) December 7, 2017
Read: https://t.co/NaAJkGlJRP pic.twitter.com/sfht5DxjpP
Now, if there's one thing you probably know about Dee Gordon, it's this: He's fast. Like, trying-to-bunt-and-ending-up-on-third-base fast:
The added wrinkle in Thursday's reports that the Mariners plan to slide Gordon from his usual second base (as there's a guy named Robinson Cano already manning that spot), to the outfield, is especially intriguing.
It stands to reason, though, that Gordon's speed should make him well equipped to handle it.
According to Statcast, Gordon had the fourth-highest baserunning sprint speed in all of MLB in 2017 with 29.7 ft/sec, trailing only Bradley Zimmer, Billy Hamilton and Byron Buxton. All three of those speedsters play in the outfield, and they often turn in spectacular defensive plays made possible by their fleet-footedness.
Some #Statcast on @Mariners' Dee Gordon:- David Adler (@_dadler) December 7, 2017
29.7 ft/s avg sprint speed in 2017. 4th in MLB, fastest IF (30+ is elite)
119 sub-4 home-to-1st times, most in MLB. Next-most: Billy Hamilton with 65
Best home-to-1st: 3.49 sec, 6th-fastest of 2017
MLB-best 101 ground-ball hits
Should Gordon end up an everyday outfielder for the Mariners next season, don't be surprised if he does well ... since he has the speed requirement down pat already. He did make a couple of appearances in the outfield during the Winter Leagues when he was with the Dodgers, but that's the extent of his familiarity with the position in his professional career.
And, it's important to point out, Gordon studied under the tutelage of Ichiro Suzuki the past few seasons in Miami ... and Ichiro knows a thing or two about playing defense in Seattle.