Dee adds Wilson Defensive Award to offseason haul
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- In Spring Training, Dee Gordon won over his teammates with his talented play at second base. Then over the course of his All-Star season, he captured the attention of Major League Baseball, becoming the National League batting champion as well as a defensive stalwart.
Gordon received even more praise on Wednesday night, when he received second base honors in the 2015 Wilson Defensive Player of Year Awards, which were announced on MLB Network.
"Just a tremendous young man," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "You knew the skill-set when you traded for him. It's nice to see him going out and doing what he's capable of doing."
Gordon did it all in his first season with Miami. Acquired from the Dodgers at the 2014 Winter Meetings, the 27-year-old won the NL batting title and the Major League stolen-base crown. He also paced the Majors in hits.
Gordon on Tuesday night picked up his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award, and now he's on Wilson's top defensive list.
For the season, Gordon led all NL second basemen with a .992 fielding percentage. He made just six errors in 145 games.
His analytics also were award-worthy, with his 6.4 UZR (ultimate zone rating) and 13 defensive runs saved (DRS).
When Gordon arrived to the Marlins in Spring Training, by his own admission, his defensive play was "terrible."
But working with infield coach Perry Hill, Gordon refined his fundamentals. He also had to move quickly because he was teamed with shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, a Gold Glove finalist.
Gordon sensed he had something to prove with Hechavarria, because he was replacing Donovan Solano, a good friend of the Miami shortstop.
"At first, we had some communication issues, which you would have in Spring Training," Gordon said. "I was taking one of his boys' spots, in Solano. That was kind of tough."
Gordon recalls a play in Spring Training, where he made an acrobatic catch and turned it into a double play. That impressed his new shortstop.
"There was a line shot to me. I back-stepped, fell down and threw from my butt to second, and we turned a double play," Gordon said. "Hech looked at me and smiled like, 'Wow. You're actually pretty good.'
"You have to kind of prove yourself. We proved ourselves to each other."