After being a two-time Big 12 Conference Player of the Year at the University of Nebraska and winning Baseball America’s College Player of the Year Award, Gordon was drafted by the Kansas City Royals as the overall No. 2. That is when the comparisons to the King of Kansas City, George Brett, began.
Gordon continued his meteoric rise destroying Double-A ball by slugging .588 and batting .325. He was promoted to Kansas City in 2007 and experienced his first down year of his baseball career.
In the first half of 2007, Gordon struggled mightily against Major League pitching, hitting only .235 with a .299 OBP and .373 Slugging percentage.
The second half of ’07 showed improvement with average, OBP and slugging improving (.258/.300/.445). The biggest barometer on the 2007 season was his lefty/righty split. He hit only .217 against lefties and .258 against righties.
2008 was a better season for Gordon, improving in all major hitting categories with a average of .260, .347 OBP and a .432 slugging percentage. His splits also improved by hitting .234 against lefties and .273 against righties. While those are not George Brett numbers, they aren’t bad. There are a few seasons that are similar to Gordon’s second year, lets see who you think they are.
1. 2003: 146 games with a .259 average, .331 OBP and .480 slugging. (rookie)
2. 2000: 111 games with a .260 average, .359 OBP and .463 slugging. (rookie)
3. 1973: 132 games with a .196 average, .324 OBP and .373 slugging. (second year)
4. 1958: 145 games with a .238 average, .292 OBP and .359 slugging. (first with significant playing time)
5. 1995: 140 games with a .265 average, .353 OBP and .450 slugging. (rookie)
6. 1974: 133 games with a .282 average, .313 OBP and .363 slugging. (second year)
1. Mark Teixeira
2. Pat Burrell
3. Mike Schmidt
4. Brooks Robinson
5. Chipper Jones
6. George Brett
Some of those numbers are pretty surprising. This third year of Gordon’s career seems like the breakout season that Royals' fans have been waiting for. A better lineup top to bottom this season, bodes well for Gordon and the Royals. Expect a .280/.355/.495 season with around 27 homers. While that may not be the Second Coming, it sure isn’t a bust.