Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Upon a quick glance at my multiple social media timelines, I have come to the conclusion that I am one of about six people yet to see the new Avengers film.
At 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon doesn't fit the description of a superhero, even if a mobile collectible card game by Topps has recently depicted him as one.
But at this pace, Gordon is well on his way to being the major league's breakout star this summer.
The origin of Gordon's career hasn't mirrored that of a Captain America or an Iron Man, instant stars that became quick pop culture classics. Sure, the 27- year-old turned heads by batting .304 and stealing 24 bases in 56 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first taste of major league action in 2011, but critics were quick to wonder if the son of former standout reliever Tom Gordon would emerge as more than just a threat on the basepaths.
The speed stayed during two more brief appearances in the majors -- a total of 125 games between 2012-13 in which he swiped another 42 bases -- but 2014 was Gordon's coming out party. He hit .289 over 148 games and blazed his way to 12 triples and 64 steals while earning All-Star honors.
With Gordon having gotten the coming of age part of his cinematic adventure out the way, the twist in his plot came in December when the Dodgers sold high and shipped him to the Marlins in a package that returned them a top pitching prospect among other supporters for their cast.
Since then, Gordon has burst onto the scene more viciously than the Hulk. He is by far leading the major leagues with a .437 batting average and his 52 hits are the most by a player through 28 games since Rod Carew had 53 in 1983.
"It would be kind of hard to put yourself in that category, especially with the road I've taken in the big leagues," Gordon told the Marlins' official website. "I'm just trying to win on a daily basis. That's my main focus."
His focus has been evident at the plate, where he is connecting with the accuracy of Hawkeye. The left-hander, who shifted from shortstop to second base after getting traded, is hitting at an eye-popping .560 clip over a 12- game hit streak. He has notched three or more hits in a game six times over that run.
Like any big-screen ensemble, Gordon isn't doing it alone. Giancarlo Stanton has hit seven homers with a major league-high 29 RBI, starter Dan Haren has won four of his six starts after coming over from the Dodgers along with Gordon and Martin Prado has excelled since moving into the two-hole behind Gordon.
The versatile Prado took over that role when Christian Yelich went on the disabled due to a back injury and is hitting .333 since the move. The combo of Gordon-Prado at the top of the lineup has Marlins fans remembering their archive of past success, mainly a 2003 season that starred Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre at the top of a World Series-winning lineup.
Miami's current Nick Fury, Mike Redmond, will be tested with Yelich set to return from his injury on Friday night. Does Redmond stick with what has been working, or move Yelich back into his original spot in the lineup? Even he didn't know as of Thursday.
Unlike a lot of Hollywood movie makers, Redmond has so far gotten a huge return on Miami's investment. Now it is up to Gordon to show just how much mojo he has as a lead(off) man.