Many players stepped up on Wednesday to help the Kansas City Royals extend their winning streak to 10 games—which the franchise hasn’t done in 20 years. Alex Gordon not only helped out with his wacky RBI single in the 1st, but he also added a spectacular catch in left field that prevented the tying run from scoring in the 6th.
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Alex Gordon has been beyond amazing in left-field this season. Gordon came into this season winning 3 consecutive Gold Gloves, which made you think he had little to improve upon. But, Gordon is having his best season in the field this year.
Advanced defensive metrics put him 15.7 runs saved after only 71 games this season, which is the highest number for ANY defensive player in major league baseball.
Keep in mind that Gordon is a guy that touches the ball a few times a game in left-field compared to up-the-middle positions like shortstop, or second base. Fangraphs.com projects him to finish with an absurd 42.8 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR/150) this season at his current pace.
That’s just insane.
To put this in perspective, Gordon’s Ultimate Zone Ratings were 12.2, 14.6, 8.6 in his last 3 Gold Glove winning campaigns. Compare that with the 19.0 he has already compiled this season, and you begin to get an idea just how phenomenal Gordon has been this year.
The difference has been his range. Gordon’s defensive excellence has been built around good range combined with a spectacular arm. He leads all of baseball with 59 outfield assists since the beginning of the 2011 season through the current year—which crushes his nearest competitor Geraldo Parra with 41. However, this season, Gordon’s range is now just as amazing as his arm.
Gordon’s current range rating (RngR) is a phenomenal 11.9, which is second among major league outfielders to Jason Heyward‘s 12.6. Combine that with Gordon’s best in baseball arm, and you have a defensive monster.
Enjoy it while you can, Royals fans. Defensive seasons like Gordon’s don’t come along very often.