Kansas City Royals – No. 4
February 10, 1984 |
|April 2, 2007 for the Kansas City Royals|
(through 2014 season)
|Runs batted in||475|
Career highlights and awards
|Competitor for United States|
|World University Championship|
Alex Jonathan Gordon (born February 10, 1984) is an American professional baseball left fielder for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. Prior to playing professionally, Gordon attended the University of Nebraska, where he played college baseball for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
At Nebraska, Gordon won the Brooks Wallace Award, Dick Howser Trophy, and Golden Spikes Award in 2005. That year, the Royals made Gordon the second overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft. Gordon has won four Gold Glove Awards, three Fielding Bible Awards, and one Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award in MLB.
- 1 Early years
- 2 High school career
- 3 U.S. National Team
- 4 College career
- 5 Professional career
- 6 Baseball card issue
- 7 Awards
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Alex was born into a baseball-loving family in Lincoln, Nebraska.
High school career
U.S. National Team
Gordon was a member of the 2004 U.S. National Team which had players from 15 different colleges. He helped lead Team USA to an 18–7 overall record, seeing the majority of his playing time at first base. He hit .388 with 4 home runs, 12 RBI and 18 runs scored in 24 contests and was named the top offensive player at the World University Baseball Championship in Tainan, Taiwan after leading all players with a .524 average (11-for-21) with 2 homers, 5 RBI and 8 runs scored in 8 games.
Gordon attended the University of Nebraska playing third base. In his junior year in 2005, he swept the collegiate baseball awards for college player of the year, winning the Dick Howser Trophy, Golden Spikes Award, the Brooks Wallace Award, and the ABCA Rawlings Player of the Year, he was also an ESPY Award Finalist for the Best Male College Athlete. He earned 1st-team All-America honors for the 2nd straight season hitting .372 (94–253) in 72 games with 22 doubles, 4 triples, 19 home runs and 66 RBI. Gordon was also 23 for 26 in stolen base attempts, and drew 63 walks, compared to 38 strikeouts, helping lead the Huskers to the 2005 Big 12 regular season and tournament titles and the school's 3rd College World Series appearance. He posted a .353 career average, where he hit 44 homers and drove in 189 runs, drew 139 walks and struck out just 106 times and was only the 2nd 2-time 1st-team All-American in Nebraska history. He finished the season as the Big 12 leader (conference games) in walks and on-base percentage, while ranking 3rd in home runs, total bases and slugging percentage, Gordon was the highest draft pick out of Nebraska since Darin Erstad was taken 1st overall in the 1995 draft.
He was named the No. 1 college draft prospect by Baseball America as well as the 2nd-best overall prospect, best pure collegiate hitter, the 2nd-best collegiate 5-tool talent, 2nd-best collegiate power hitter, best collegiate strike-zone judgment and 2nd-closest to the Majors among collegiate players.
Draft and Minors
Gordon was drafted in 2005 by the Kansas City Royals with the second pick overall. He hit 29 home runs and stole more than 20 bases with an OPS over 1.000 in his first full season in minor league baseball with the Double-A Wichita Wranglers. He was generally regarded as one of the best hitting prospects in baseball playing in the Texas League All-Star game and was selected for the 2006 All-Star Futures Game.
Gordon declined to play for Team USA in 2006, while leading the Wichita Wranglers to the Texas League playoffs. He performed exceptionally well in his first full minor league season, winning the Texas League Player of the Year awarded to the best player and Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year award.
Kansas City Royals (2007-present)
In his first major league at-bat, Gordon struck out with the bases loaded against Curt Schilling but eventually got his first major league hit on April 5, 2007, against another celebrated rookie, Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka. On April 10, 2007, he hit his first major league home run off pitcher Josh Towers of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Gordon struggled to begin with, but the Royals stayed patient with him. He was hitting .185 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI through the first two months as an everyday starter of the regular season. However he was hot in June, batting .327 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI. He stayed consistent through the summer, hitting .253 in July, and .271 in August. However, he slumped to a .244 average for the final month of the season.
On August 17, Gordon got his 100th major league hit off pitcher Dan Meyer of the Oakland Athletics. On September 2, Gordon had the first multi-home run game of his career, connecting off Boof Bonser of the Minnesota Twins in the 2nd inning, and in the 3rd inning off Julio DePaula. On September 7, Gordon hit a single off former college teammate Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees. On September 12, Gordon hit his 34th double of the year in the seventh inning off Glen Perkins of the Twins, establishing a Royals rookie record.
Gordon switched his uniform number from 7, the number he had as a rookie, to 4, his college number. On Major League Baseball's opening day of 2008, March 31, Gordon hit a two-run home run off Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, with Mark Grudzielanek on first base.
The Royals placed Gordon on the 15-day disabled list on August 23 because of a torn muscle in his right quadriceps. He was hitting .254 and was second on the team with 14 home runs, but also had club-high 109 strikeouts.
Gordon struggled in the beginning of the 2009 season, hitting just 2-for-21 (.095) with one homer and three RBIs in seven games. Gordon was injured on April 11 in a game against the New York Yankees when he slid into second base on a force play. He underwent surgery on April 17 to repair a tear in the labral cartilage of the right hip, and was on the disabled list for twelve weeks. After playing a few games in the minors, Alex came off the disabled list and rejoined the Royals on July 17 going 1 for 4 against Tampa Bay. Alex stole home for the first time in his career on August 2 against the Rays becoming the first Royal to do that since Mendy Lopez in 2003. The Royals optioned Gordon to Triple-A Omaha on August 18 and reinstated reliever Kyle Farnsworth from the 15-day DL to take his spot on the active roster. After Omaha finished up its season, Gordon returned to the Royals in September.
Gordon began the 2010 season on a minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Advanced Wilmington, following a broken thumb suffered in Spring Training. Gordon was activated from the disabled list on April 17. He was demoted to the minor leagues in May, where he played left field. Gordon was recalled from Triple-A on July 23, 2010, to take the place of David DeJesus in the Royals' outfield, who was placed on the disabled list with a right thumb sprain.
In spring training in 2011, he led the major leagues in RBIs, with 23. Gordon finished 3rd place behind Paul Konerko and Victor Martinez in the American League Final Vote for the All-Star game with a .299 average to start the year. He broke the Royals single season record and is leading the majors in outfield assists. He is also second in the majors in doubles, with teammate Jeff Francoeur.
In 2011, he led all major league outfielders in assists, with 20. On November 1, 2011 it was announced that he had won his first American League Gold Glove for left fielder.
On February 9, 2012, Gordon signed a one-year, $4.775 million deal with the Royals to avoid arbitration. In the process, Gordon filed for $5.45, while the Royals countered with $4.15. He can earn $25K if he reaches 700 plate appearances, putting him at the original midpoint. However, on March 30, Gordon signed a four-year, $37.5 million extension with the Royals with a player option for 2016, becoming the third Royal player to sign an extension in the offseason. Gordon will earn $6 million in 2012, $9 million in 2013, $10 million in 2014 and $12.5 million in 2015. He would earn another $12.5 million should he accept his option for 2016. Gordon was set to hit the open market after 2013.
Gordon finished the 2012 season with a .294 batting average and led the majors with doubles, totaling 51 doubles.
2013 was another exceptional year for Gordon. He finished with the season with 90 runs scored, 168 hits, 27 doubles, 6 triples, 20 home runs, 81 RBIs, and a .265 batting average. He earned his third consecutive Gold Glove Award for his spectacular defense in left field and earned his first career All Star selection.
In the 2014 season, Gordon scored 87 runs, had 150 hits, 34 doubles, 1 triple, 19 home runs, 74 RBI, 12 SB and a .266 BA. On July 6th, 2014 he was named to the 2014 All Star Team for the second consecutive year. On August 6, he recorded his 1000th career hit when he singled off Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley. On August 26th, he passed Wade Boggs for the most home runs hit by a Nebraskan in the Major Leagues. 13 of his 19 home runs so far have either tied the game (3) or given the Royals the lead (10). He represented the tying run in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, when with 2 outs, he lined a long single to left center and reached 3rd base when Giants' center fielder Gregor Blanco misplayed the ball. However he was stranded when catcher Salvador Perez fouled out to Pablo Sandoval to end the game. Gordon was awarded his first Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, third Fielding Bible Award, and fourth Gold Glove Award for his defense in left field.
Baseball card issue
Gordon shortly after gained distinction through his baseball card in 2006. Topps issued Gordon's rookie card prematurely, as only players on 25-man rosters or who have played in at least one Major League game are eligible. As a result, Topps stopped producing the card and cut holes in some of the existing cards. Examples that found their way into retail stores have garnered bids in the thousands of dollars on eBay.
- 2003 Big 12 All-Tournament Team
- 2003 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12
- 2003 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American
- 2004 First-Team All-Big 12
- 2004 Big 12 Player of the Year.
- 2004 NCBWA District VI Player of the Year
- 2004 First Team All-American
- 2004 Baseball America First Team Summer All-American
- 2005 Big 12 All-Tournament Team
- 2005 First Team All-Big 12
- 2005 Big 12 Player of the Year
- 2005 NCBWA District VI Player of the Year
- 2005 First Team All-American
- 2005 Baseball America Player of the Year
- 2005 ABCA National Player of the Year
- 2005 Brooks Wallace Award
- 2005 Dick Howser Trophy
- 2005 Golden Spikes Award
- 2005 ESPY Award Finalist for Male College Athlete of the Year
- 2006 Baseball America Double-A All-Star
- 2006 MLB.com Double-A Offensive Player of the Year
- 2006 Baseball America Minor League All-Star
- 2006 Texas League Player of the Year
- 2006 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year
- 2011 AL Left Field Rawlings Gold Glove Award
- 2012 Fielding Bible Award
- 2012 AL Left Field Rawlings Gold Glove Award
- 2013 AL All-Star
- 2013 AL Left Field Rawlings Gold Glove Award
- 2013 Fielding Bible Award
- 2014 AL All-Star (did not play due to injury)
- 2014 AL Left Field Rawlings Gold Glove Award
- 2014 Fielding Bible Award
- Bio netglimse.com
- Gordon Named to USA Baseball National Team Huskers.com
- Team USA Wins Gold at World University Baseball Championship Huskers.com
- Gordon Selected for All-Star Futures Game Huskers.com
- Royals stay patient with Gordon, Kansas City Royals. Published May 31, 2007.
- Kaegel, Dick. Royals to bring back powder blues Royals.com, December 6, 2007.
- MLB Player Fielding Stats: 2008, ESPN.
- Gordon out until at least late June, Kansas City Royals. Published April 17, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- Dick Kaegel. "Betancourt, Gordon coming off DL". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Dick Kaegel. "Good signs from Gordon following surgery". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com. "Royals escape no-no, win for Bannister". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Fun with Real Audio[dead link]
- By Jesse Temple / MLB.com. "Royals option Gordon to Triple-A Omaha". Kansascity.royals.mlb.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com (January 1, 2011). "Gordon set for rehab assignment | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Kaegel, Dick (April 17, 2010). "Royals' Gordon activated from disabled list". MLB.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "Royals demote draft-bust Gordon to minors; switch from 3B to left field". USA Today. May 3, 2010.
- By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com. "Gordon recalled; DeJesus lands on DL". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "Major League Baseball Stats | MLB.com: Stats". Mlb.mlb.com. January 1, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "2011 Major League Baseball Fielding Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Axisa, Mike (February 9, 2012). "Royals Avoid Arbitration With Alex Gordon". MLB Trade Rumors.
- Links, Zach (March 30, 2012). "Royals, Alex Gordon Agree To Extension". MLB Trade Rumors.
- "The 2012 Awards". ACTA Sports. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
- MLN FAB50 Baseball 2006
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Minor League Stats
- Huskers.com Stats, Awards, and Bio