Seems like he's on this list every year. We all know the story, it has become a common trend with Royals 1st round draft picks. The potential is there, yet Gordon and Luke Hochevar have struggled putting it all together for a full season, but there have been signs of their full potential. Whether it is an 80 pitch complete game from Hochevar or a 450 ft homer from Gordon into the second tier of the fountains, we have all seen it.
Now Gordon's future is definitely in doubt. His health has become more of a concern than his consistency. Hip surgery last year, a bad bounce broke his nose in 2008, broken thumb this Spring, a handful of trips to the 15 day DL, just a sample of what he has gone through.
He was proclaimed as the greatest baseball prospect ever by many, Minor League Player of the year in his first year in AA. He had all the potential in the world. His first at bat in the Major Leagues has become a microcosm of his career. Bases loaded, Opening Day, facing a legend in Curt Schilling, a team that had a bright future....he struck out. The hope is fading on Gordon, he's going from a guy who was unfairly labeled as the next George Brett to the next Craig Paquette, another unfair comparison. He is 26, going in to what is supposed to be the prime of a player's career and has barely scratched the surface.
The thing that worries me about Gordon's current injury, a broken thumb, is that it will turn into a nagging injury that once again prohibits him from reaching his potential with the Royals. I still have high hopes for him, he's shown us what he can do. He's got one of the purest swings I've ever seen and he is a tremendous athlete.
The hope remains for me that he will be able to overcome this inconvenient injury and become a staple in this lineup, something that this team has lacked for a long time. 2 years ago, it was the thought of Billy Butler and Alex Gordon smacked in the middle of the lineup, terrorizing Major League Baseball. Butler would hit doubles, walk and then Gordon would smash homeruns, Royals would dominate the AL Central and so on.
That hasn't happened.
Obviously, Gordon is the easiest choice for a Royals Wild Card. My hope is that he can stay healthy throughout the season and be a lock for 150 games. If that can happen, I have no doubts he can finally start reaching his potential.