Around the Horn: Second base

Marlins set with reigning batting champion Gordon

Around the Horn: Second base

Pitchers and catchers launch Spring Training for the Marlins on Feb. 19 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. Full-squad workouts get underway on Feb. 24. As the workout dates approach, takes a position-by-position look at the 2016 Marlins. The latest installment: Second base.

MIAMI -- Batting champ. Silver Slugger. Gold Glove winner. All-Star. MLB leader in stolen bases and hits. Get the picture? Dee Gordon cleaned up in 2015, posting one of the best all-around individual seasons in Marlins' history.

• Around the Horn: Catcher | First base

To cap an incredible run, Gordon cashed in by signing a five-year, $50 million contract in January. By locking up the 27-year-old speedster long term, the Marlins have solidified their second base and leadoff spots for the foreseeable future.

Dee Gordon gets five-year deal

What's next?

If you're looking at production, obviously, it will be extremely difficult to duplicate his lofty numbers. What you can expect is a repeat in Gordon's preparation and work habits. He is one of Miami's hardest workers.

If he maintains health and stays consistent with his approach, there is no reason to doubt Gordon will remain a game-changing player and catalyst atop the Marlins' batting order.

Raised in Avon Park, Fla., Gordon feels quite at home playing in South Florida. The feeling is mutual from the organization.

Even before the Marlins swung their seven-player deal with the Dodgers at the 2014 Winter Meetings to acquire the All-Star, the club had attempted to trade for Gordon for at least two years. When he became available, the Marlins made their move, and landed one of the top second basemen in the game.

Gordon provides speed and energy, and in his first season with Miami improved his overall game, batting .333, collecting 205 hits and swiping 58 bases.

Gordon wins NL batting title

Working with infield coach Perry Hill, Gordon's defense reached Gold Glove Award-winning level, and he teamed with shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to form one of the best double play combinations in the Majors.

Gordon's 4.6 WAR in 2015 was the best among all qualifying National League second basemen, according to FanGraphs.

For all the impressive numbers Gordon achieved a year ago, there is still skepticism about how he will perform in 2016. MLB Network recently ranked the Top 10 second basemen, and Gordon was not near the top of the list. He was ninth.

• Around the Horn: Bullpen | Starting rotation

Two projections on FanGraphs -- Steamer and Fans -- forecast Gordon's WAR at 2.0 and 2.8, respectively.

One reason for skepticism is that Gordon's BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was an eye-opening .383 last year. The MLB average BABIP is around .300.

Advanced metrics aside, as long as Gordon puts the ball in play, the Marlins like his chances of reaching base. 

Gordon swipes 58th base of 2015

A statistic that may decline for him this season is stolen bases. One reason Gordon took more chances on the bases was because slugger Giancarlo Stanton missed more than half of the 2015 season. If Stanton is in the lineup, Gordon may not risk running as much. He stole 58 bases, but was caught 20 times.

The Marlins have some depth at second. Miguel Rojas is a solid defender at short, second and third, and Derek Dietrich could see time at the position.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.