I have written many times about Alex Gordon, because I’m a fan of his. I have been waiting for a long time to see him succeed. I have followed his career since his days at Nebraska and even got his autograph in 2005 at the Team USA complex in Cary, NC. He was so talented that I just couldn’t see him not succeeding in the majors.
Of course his first three years were disastrous. It was mainly his inability to play third base and his psychy at the plate due to that. The Royals decided to send him back to the minors to learn a new position (LF) and hopefully to get his head straight. It took about a year, but the turnaround is officially complete! Alex had a career year this season and it’s evident that the best is yet to come in his young career.
This season he hit 0.303, 27 home runs, 87 RBI, and 17 stolen bases, yup a true 5 tool star. Before this season, his best season was 2009 when he hit 0.260 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs. There is a lot of reasons as to why he is doing better. First off, he isn’t the main focus of the team, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are the saviors at this point. Plus placing him as a lead off hitter, takes extra stress off him, he doesn’t have to worry about driving in runs, just has to worry about setting the table.
He was also hitting ahead of Melky Cabrerra (career year), Billy Butler (solid hitter), and Eric Hosmer (deep ball threat), so he saw some very hittable pitches all year long. I think the Royals now have their first five hitters set for possibly the next five to ten years. I don’t expect any issues with any of their top players and I definitely expect even bigger numbers from Gordon next year.
With pitching help on the way from the minors and a solid core of hitters, look out next season because the Royals are going to be players in the very winnable central division race. Now that the season is over there are a bunch of players I could consider for comeback player of the year. Guys like Doug Fister, who dominated upon his arrival to Detroit, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Kemp and Melky Cabrerra. The reason you have to give it to Gordon though is that he was essentially on his last leg in Kansas City, if the move to LF didn’t work he was going to be traded or released. Essentially it was this year or bust.
His autographs went from absurdly high, to nearly dollar feeder, and now it’s in the $20 – $40 range for most of his autographs. I will definitely look to pick up some over the next few months to add to my collection. I don’t think we have seen the best from him yet.
Who is your comeback player of the year?