I know, I know first I pick on Luke Hochevar and now I go and pick on another Kansas City Royal potential bust. Alex Gordon was selected 2nd overall in the 2005 draft, behind Justin Upton. He was by far and away the best player in college. He had just won the Golden Spikes Award after going 0.372/19/76 with 23 stolen bases. The Royals really opened the bank to sign him and they thought they were getting a player that they could build a team around in the future.
His first minor league season was with AA Wichita in 2006. He didn’t disappoint that season and not only were Royals fans excited, but also Royal’s brass was too. He hit 0.325/29/101/22 and was named the Minor League Player of the Year. He broke Spring Training with the Royals in 2007 and proceded to get schooled by Major League pitching, going 0.185/3/8 in the first two months. The Royals stayed with him though and he finished the season at 0.247/15/60/14.
In 2008 he again played a full season with the Royals and improved (slightly), he hit 0.260/16/59/9, but did show some flashes of brilliance during the season. The Royals were expecting his breakout season to be in 2009. Unfortunately for Alex he ended up hurting his hip seven games into the season. He was shelved until mid July and even though he did come back and play for the Royals, he was optioned about a month later down to AAA Omaha. He was again called up in September but did little and finished the season with a statline of 0.232/6/32/5.
That brings us to 2010, he has a one year deal just shy of $500,000. So he is playing for a contract this season. He certainly is a good hitter. He may not be as decent defensively but he has the tools to hit. You have to wonder if given a good hitting coach he could learn to be more consistent with MLB pitching. As for his hobby value, his cards have taken a huge hit. People are unloading them like crazy. The market is just flooded with his autographed cards and cards that were once fetching $100+ are now only getting between $10 – $20. If he starts off slow again, look for a drop to the $5 – $10 region. Personally I hope he can pick it up and live up to his potential. By the way the card below sold for $17.50 on eBay recently.