In 2007, Alex Gordon was the golden boy, the next George Brett. In 2008, he was the young kid who needed some seasoning in the Majors. Then 2009 came and he was a sleeper, the guy was going to slyly take his crown. Last year, even the lowly Royals gave up on Gordon, letting him hang out in AAA and learn a new position while hitting .310/.451/.567 for the Omaha Nine. And then this year came and perhaps a few people remembered the tools and abilities that had made him the #2 prospect in 2007, but most merely hoped for a season free from outright embarrassment.
But then Gordon started hot, hitting .339 with two home runs, two triples, and twelve doubles during April. People began to hope again. And Gordon, destroying all that goodwill, followed that up with the type of month that had defined his career, hitting .236/.303/.445 for the month of may. The power was still there, but Gordon had made us all look like fools for allowing ourselves to believe again. He fell off the radar, especially as players like Eric Hosmer, Danny Duffy, and Mike Moustakas came to the Majors; players who had yet to fail on the big stage. But this time, Gordon did not wilt.
After homering off of Max Scherzer last night, Alex Gordon is hitting .305/.378/.506 with 19 HR and 40 2B. As judged by fWAR, Gordon is the 13th best player in baseball, nestled just behind Adrian Gonzalez who some are claiming is an MVP candidate. Yes, Gordon’s BABIP is high, as is his K rate, but the fact of the matter is that Alex Gordon is going to be worth six wins come the end of the season, a number that plenty of top prospects never see in their entire career. At 27, Gordon is just now entering his prime.
Baseball, unlike any other sport, has the room for players to mature and blossom late. As Kansas City pins their hopes on a new crop of phenoms, it’s time for them to realize that they have another key element currently excelling in left field.