For at least a week, it would appear that former 1st round pick Alex Gordon has gotten it together. It would appear that he’s back. He’s been hitting 3rd in the resurgent Royals order and producing. And The Golden Sombrero has taken notice:
In the small sample of at-bats I have seen from Gordon this season and during the spring, he looks much more like the player many remember from his days as a prospect. He is at least looking the part again in terms of confidence both at the plate and in the field. Kansas City has refused to stick with a plan as far as Gordon’s defensive development, and it seems like they are finally willing to let him grow comfortable in the grass at Kauffman.
Gordon’s at-bats are starting to exhibit the excellent understanding of the clock that scouts observed when he was at Nebraska, and it is translating into better bat speed, bat track, and pitch recognition. When we talk about the clock, we mean the sequence of steps that go into basic tasks within the game, such as fielding a grounder or taking a pitch, and the necessary temporal components therein. These tasks are regarded as routine, but when a player’s timing is off by much, they become exceedingly difficult and potentially impossible.
Gordon’s clock at the plate right now is allowing his weight to be fully loaded and ready to be transferred at the exact moment that prevents his momentum from reaching zero, so he effectively is gliding from his load into his transfer, and it is beautiful to watch because it is as though he is waking up a little bit more with each pitch.
Guys with Gordon’s talent are very rare, but harnessing it can be a great challenge for the organization and the player. Remember Josh Hamilton’s career as a Devil Ray? Gordon was that best hitter in his draft class, and the best hitter in the Big XII as well as all of NCAA baseball less than six years ago. He was one of the top hitting prospects in baseball less than five years ago. And then he plummeted physically and mentally.
The talent has always been there, so the struggles have never really made sense to us. We’ve always thought that Gordon was poised for at least a really nice season or two; and knowing that this is probably his last chance to prove that he can make good on all the promise in Kansas City, we’re glad it’s coming now. They’ve got a good thing going on right now in KC. Gordon is a guy who is easy to root for–just like the upstart team he plays for.
Maybe he crashes and burns. Maybe he comes down to earth and hits .250 and this is all short lived. But for right now, Alex Gordon is on top of the baseball world and getting it done for the Kansas City Royals. And that can’t be a bad thing for the game.