Batting Ninth: Alex Gordon
Batting Alex Gordon at the bottom of the lineup was not the spot anyone would expect when he signed a new contract following the 2015 season. He only has eight career plate appearances from the ninth spot and this is somewhat of a stretch to put him here.
Alex Gordon is a hitter than can milk counts and occasionally put one over the fence to drive in Escobar and himself.
It’s more likely that the Royals would swap Escobar and Gordon in their real lineup than I have them listed here, but where’s the fun in that.
Simply put, Alex Gordon had an awful 2016 campaign. It was the second straight season that saw him miss significant time with an injury and his performance at the plate, when healthy, outside a stretch in August was hard to watch.
I like Alex Gordon following Escobar for this reason only. Escobar in the eighth spot acts as a late-order lead-off hitter. Alex Gordon is a hitter than can milk counts and occasionally put one over the fence to drive in Escobar and himself.
When he does get on base ahead of Merrifield, he’s fast enough to rip off the occasional steal and his career tendency of getting on base at a .345 clip should offer Merrifield plenty of protection and help him see good pitches.
Surrounding a young player like Merrifield with veterans like Gordon and Moustakas should only help him excel.