The 24-year-old Fernandez, a two-time All Star and 2013 National League Rookie of the Year, was killed early on Sunday in a boating accident, prompting an outpouring of grief around baseball. The Marlins canceled their game on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves and emotions were running high at Marlins Park when they returned to face the Mets on Monday. Gordon's blast was his first of the season, and came after he had taken the first pitch from Mets starter Bartolo Colon while batting right handed in emulation of Fernandez.
A few seasons ago, as the tri-John-umvirate began to methodically dismantle the remnants of the 2014 Atlanta Braves to forge forward with a monumental rebuilding effort, they focused primarily on acquiring pitching. Many of these young pitchers filtered through to the big league team in 2015 and 2016, but the relative dearth of young, talented position players acquired in the rebuilding efforts left an understandable void as far as offensive production. In 2015, the Braves finished third-to-last in the majors with a 91 wRC+ from their position players. Their 569 runs scored were the fewest in the majors, over 30 runs behind the second-worst team (the Marlins, who played in a far more run-suppressing
One of the best things about being a part of the minor league is getting to interact with a lot of the young players in the system. Getting to be at the forefront watching the Braves’ rebuild the farm system up close has been an absolute treat. One of the best things that has struck many of us is how truly remarkable many of these young men are and today’s guest is no exception. Before turning 18 (his birthday is October 3rd), Derian had developed into a highly regarded switching-hitting shortstop prospect in the Dominican Republic and promptly played two levels of pro ball, all while continuing to learn English and adapt to living in a different country. We will not go into how much I had accomplished