Sep 20, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) shatters his bat on a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals defeated the Rangers 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals Scouting Report: Alex Gordon


 

 

For a primer on the 20-80 scouting scale, check out Kevin Goldstein’s article at Baseball Prospectus. When listening to scouts, baseball front office personnel, writers, or random baseball guys, the 20-80 scouting scale eventually comes up. It’s always a good idea to have knowledge of how players are performing according to this scale so that baseball conversations have a common reference point.

One easy tip: when a player is a 60 hitter, it means he’s a .300 hitter. A .300 hitter is really good, right? Extrapolate that to other areas and any time you see a 60 grade, know that the player is pretty darn good at that thing.

Other Kansas City Royals scouting reports from KC Kingdom, check out

Salvador Perez

Eric Hosmer

Emilio Bonifacio

Mike Moustakas

Alcides Escobar.

Here are Alex Gordon‘s scouting Grades.

Hit: 55

Gordon raked his way through May and June of 2013, but fell back to earth before hitting his head on an outfield wall and tanking horribly for months. He hit a solid .303 in 2011 and .294 in 2012. He might be a little worse than those numbers indicate, but he’s also probably better than his .265 AVG in 2013 indicates.

His plate discipline is usually above average with a 9.7% career walk rate. Once he moved down in the lineup, he uncharistically started swinging at more pitches. He used to wait until he got a perfect pitch to drive. His OBP plummeted to below .300 during that time. It’s not exactly clear what caused him to swing more, but if this was the doing of management, they should all be fired. All it did was make Gordon a worse hitter for months.

He flew out on the infield more in 2013 than in past. He popped up more often and hit quite a few lazy fly balls. He seemingly lost the ability to hit anything off-speed for three full months of the season, finally recovering slightly later in the year. There may have been external issues that suddenly prevented him from hitting off-speed pitches. They weren’t that much trouble for him in the past. He should hit better, fresh from a long off-season break.

Power: 55

Solid doubles power that occasionally carries over the wall. He has a respectable .167 career isolated power. He also averages just under 40 doubles and just under 20 homers per 162 games. If he gets his average back where it should be, he should make his second All Star game.

Fielding: 80

Sometimes a player just can’t be better than he already is at a position. He seemingly never gets bad jumps and rarely misplays anything. No one can doubt his full effort, as he leaves pieces of himself all over the outfield. He suffered a concussion and hip injury after smacking into a wall mid-season and hit the wall at least twice more in 2013.

He has made a total of only six errors in the outfield in the past three years–only one in 2013 at the end of the season. He has led American League left-fielders in defensive stats for the past three years running. He won a Gold Glove all three years, which is a testament to the impression he left on managers, who are somewhat biased toward winning teams.

When tagging an 80 on a guy’s defense, it indicates that he has the ability to be one of the best EVER at the position. For three years, Gordon has been among the elite defensive left fielders in MLB history. So, yeah, 80.

Arm: 75

Gordon has had 54 outfield assists in the past three years, leading the league among all outfielders in 2011 and 2013. His arm is deadly accurate, even from the wall. He lacks the magical arm strength of Jeff Francoeur, but rarely misses his mark. Since he moved to the outfield, his arm has saved more runs than any other outfielder.

Speed: 50

While not a burner on the basepaths, he’s usually a smart baserunner who steals at least ten bases a year. Baseball-Reference.com figures that he was worth +3 runs on the basepaths in 2013.

 

Overall, Gordon is a high-level commodity and deserving All Star. His defense in the outfield is so good that he could almost hit like a shortstop and have positive value. He gets paid too much for that, but it shows how good he is in the field. He’d be a starting left-fielder on any of the 30 major league teams, displacing whoever was there because his bat is also better than most left-fielders. Even in a down year (2013), he had a 4.2 bWAR. He will still be in his peak for 2014 and looking to bounce back after a disappointing year at the plate.

For a primer on the 20-80 scouting scale, check out Kevin Goldstein’s article at Baseball Prospectus. When listening to scouts, baseball front office personnel, writers, or random baseball guys, the 20-80 scouting scale eventually comes up. It’s always a good idea to have knowledge of how players are performing according to this scale so that baseball conversations have a common reference point.

One easy tip: when a player is a 60 hitter, it means he’s a .300 hitter. A .300 hitter is really good, right? Extrapolate that to other areas and any time you see a 60 grade, know that the player is pretty darn good at that thing.

Other Kansas City Royals scouting reports from KC Kingdom, check out

Salvador Perez

Eric Hosmer

Emilio Bonifacio

Mike Moustakas

Alcides Escobar.

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Tags: Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals

1 Comments on Kansas City Royals Scouting Report: Alex Gordon

  1. jimfetterolf says:

    Gordon will be interesting, his fall off last year coming about the same time as the concussion. I assume he’ll be better this year after full healing, so he should get the hit thing back up. OBP will depend on where he is in the line up. At the top of the order he’ll look at lots of pitches, farther down with runners on he’ll look to find a pitch to drive for the 5 or 6 slot. If the hitter behind him is having a down year, Gordon will walk, if the hitter is hot Gordon will just see strikes.

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