Kansas City Royals fans were thrilled when the club inked Alex Gordon to a long-term deal last offseason. Gordon struggled in 2016 and that was a huge part in why the Royals didn’t make it back to the playoffs. Gordon has to pick it up next season.
After earning a World Series ring in 2015 where Gordon slashed 271/.377/.432 in 104 games, he was dreadful in their victory tour in 2016.
It just looked like Gordon was burnt out in the early part of the season, which is understandable. He was 32 heading into last season and had that groin injury in 2015 that saw him missing two months of the season.
Consider that and all of the extra baseball that the Royals had been playing in 2014 and 2015 and it isn’t difficult to see why all of the team struggled to get on base and to plate the guys who did manage to get on base.
Alex Gordon struggling was tough to watch though. He missed about a month and a half after colliding with Mike Moustakas when going for a foul ball and that could be contributed to Gordon’s 2016 struggles as well.
I’m not trying to make excuses for Gordon. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about the former Cornhusker needing to play better in 2017 or else the fans in this city might begin to turn on him.
Gordon’s 2016 slash line was .220/.312/.380 with 17 home runs and 40 RBI. Gordon’s biggest problem at the plate in 2016 was that he struck out all the time. He amassed his strikeout career high number with 148 in 2016 and that was only with 445 at bats.
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Before his 148 strikeouts, Gordon’s career high was 141 in 2013. The difference, however, is that Gordon had 633 at bats that year and was batting .265 with 20 home runs.
Gordon was still just fine defensively this past season, which is why Royals fans love him, but the guy has to find his groove at the plate again, especially if the Kansas City Royals want to be playoff contenders in 2017.
Like I mentioned above – There were definitely logical factors for why Alex Gordon struggled as badly as he did last year. He had that groin injury in 2015 and was injured again in 2016 for several weeks. The Royals had been playing as far into the season as possible in both 2014 and 2015 and the hangover showed for sure.
Another reason to consider is Gordon’s age. Sure the guy is a freak of nature when it comes to working out and staying fit, but people’s bodies begin to break down and Gordon is at the perfect age for it to begin happening.
Gordon will be 33 heading into 2017 and still has several more years inked with the KC Royals. It’s certainly something to keep an eye on with the Lincoln native.
With a full offseason of rest, Gordo should hopefully get back to his natural form and help get his childhood team back into the postseason.