There is an old saying in the world of baseball, sometimes when a player dominates in the minors and fails in the majors he is considered a AAAA player. Alex Gordon who was drafted in 2005 with the 2nd overall pick and at the time was considered the best hitting prospect in baseball. He was supposed to be the savior for a Royals franchise that has fallen on extremely tough times. The cornerstone of a franchise is desperate need of a cornerstone.
It all looked positively brilliant for the young hitter. Coming off a season at the University of Nebraska where he hit 0.372/19/66 his senior season, and won the Golden Spikes Award for 2005 he was assigned to AA Wichita in 2006. He dominated at the AA level hitting 0.325/29/101 with 22 stolen bases. Entering 2007 he was the 2nd best prospect in all of baseball. The Royals decided to put him on the major league roster in 2007, after an extraordinarily difficult start to the season he regained his composure and finished with a line of 0.247/15/60 and 14 stolen bases.
Those certainly weren’t the prettiest numbers for someone so hyped as Gordon was, but overall not a bad start for someone who only had one season of minor leagues. Of course season number two, where he should have improved on his 2007 numbers, was not as good as season one. He improved his batting average to 0.260 hit one more home run (16), one less RBI (59) and five fewer stolen bases (9). Overall there was essentially no progress in his offensive stride.
As we all know, his third season was a mess of injuries and demotions. Turning 26 as he entered his fourth season (2010), he was expected to finally turn the corner. Of course we all know how this went. Started the season hitting 0.194/1/1 before getting injured, then after he healed, he was demoted to AAA Omaha and told to learn a new position. The experiment has gone well, he is hitting 0.366/5/11 in just over 50 at bats. He should end up back in the majors before the All Star break.
The question still remains, is he a franchise cornerstone? Or a severe disappointment? The hobby world says resoundingly that he has been a disappointment. His autographed cards once selling for between $40 – $60, now are going for between $5 and $10. The card listed below was recently purchased for $7. I still think that right now he is a buy, he is a heck of an athlete and maybe the move to the outfield will help him more at the plate. His cards are dirt cheap and if he can make a comeback, they will go up. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed, I hope he can get back to becoming of the better hitters in baseball.